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In terms of the employment rate, Canada far from first in G7 during the recovery

OTTAWA - Finance Minister Joe Oliver and his predecessor have been fond of trumpeting Canada's economic and job creation performance since the recession, claiming it is unequalled among the Group of Seven large industrialized nations. The minister made the boast again this week in a speech to employers in Halifax, noting that "our government has created over one million net new jobs ... the strongest job growth over the recovery among G7 countries." But a recent report from the Paris-based OECD suggests that Canada's employment record is not near the best.

In terms of the employment rate, Canada far from first in G7 during the recovery

OTTAWA - A new OECD report suggests Canada's labour market has yet to fully recovery from the recession and is not the strongest in the G7, as often claimed by the Harper government. The numbers from Paris-based Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development suggests Canada places fifth in terms of job creation. The OECD data measures what economists call the employment rate, which is the percentage of the working age population that actually has a job.

Euro zone private sector on strong footing but still slashing prices: PMIs

By Jonathan Cable LONDON (Reuters) - The euro zone's private sector has started the second quarter on its strongest footing in nearly three years, but burgeoning new orders were again mainly buoyed by firms cutting prices, surveys showed on Wednesday. The bloc's services industry performed better than any of the 36 economists polled by Reuters had expected, and manufacturers also had a stronger month than the median forecast had suggested.

Survey shows China manufacturing activity shrinks for 4th straight month but at slower pace

HONG KONG - Factory activity in China shrank for the fourth straight month in April, though the decline was slightly slower, a survey on Wednesday said, in a possible sign the slowdown in the world's No. 2 economy is stabilizing. The preliminary version of HSBC's purchasing managers' index edged up 48.3 from March's 48.0 on a 100-point scale on which numbers above 50 indicate expansion. The report said output and new orders decreased at a slower rate. However, new orders for customers in export markets overseas shrank after expanding the previous month.

Survey shows China manufacturing activity shrinks for 4th straight month but at slower pace

HONG KONG - Factory activity in China shrank for the fourth straight month in April, though the decline was slightly slower, a survey on Wednesday said, in a possible sign the slowdown in the world's No. 2 economy is stabilizing. The preliminary version of HSBC's purchasing managers' index edged up 48.3 from March's 48.0 on a 100-point scale on which numbers above 50 indicate expansion. The report said output and new orders decreased at a slower rate. However, new orders for customers in export markets overseas shrank after expanding the previous month.

U.S. home resales hit 1-1/2 year low, but may be stabilizing

By Lucia Mutikani WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. home resales fell to their lowest level in more than 1-1/2 years in March, but there were signs a recent downward trend that has plagued the housing market may be drawing to an end. The National Association of Realtors said on Tuesday existing home sales slipped 0.2 percent to an annual rate of 4.59 million units.

Thawing out: After a bitter winter, warmer spring temperatures are revitalizing the US economy

WASHINGTON - Spring's thaw is reviving the economy, too. A recent batch of government and business reports show a U.S. economy emerging from winter's deep freeze. Economists had expected growth to accelerate in 2014 after two years of slow and steady improvement. But an unusually bitter winter sent factories, hiring and consumer spending into hibernation.

Russia may suffer second-quarter recession: finance ministry

Russia could tip into recession in the second quarter of 2014 after the economy contracted by around 0.5 percent in the first three months of the year, a finance ministry official said Monday. "It looks like the second quarter compared with the previous quarter will again have a negative value. In this way, the finance ministry does not rule out a technical recession," the Interfax news agency quoted Maxim Oreshkin as saying. Oreshkin, who heads the finance ministry's department for long-term strategy, made the prediction in comments to journalists.

Most businesses plan increase in capital investment: survey

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Economists at a broad swath of U.S. businesses expect their firms will ramp up capital investments over the next year, a positive sign for the long-term economic growth outlook. A National Association for Business Economics (NABE) survey published on Monday found 61 percent of the firms surveyed planned to increase capital spending, which includes investments in buildings and equipment. The quarterly survey was conducted between March 18 and April 1.

Housing correction would damage Canada's economy, says BMO report

OTTAWA - A sudden and sharp correction in the housing market could have a devastating impact on the Canadian economy overall, enough to trigger another recession, says a new Bank of Montreal report. The analysis by senior economist Sal Guatieri finds that even a 10 per cent correction — what many would call a soft landing — could sap as much as one percentage point from gross domestic product growth, or basically halve the current growth rate.
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