Five things to look for in Canadian business this week:
Finance Minister Joe Oliver tables his first federal budget on Tuesday amid a global oil price slump that has threatened Ottawa’s bottom line. Oliver hasn’t provided many hints about what might be in the budget except to say earlier this month, somewhat ominously, that “the world’s troubles have reached our shores.” Oliver is widely expected to double the contribution limit for tax-free savings accounts.
Rogers Communications Inc. (TSX:RCI.B), which owns Maclean’s, will issue its first-quarter results Monday, shedding light on whether the telecom company continues to grapple with a defection of wireless subscribers to competitors. A CRTC rule change has shortened the span of wireless contracts to two years, meaning that a wave of customers signed to older three-year contracts will suddenly be allowed to leave their agreements without paying a penalty fee this summer. On Tuesday, Rogers will also hold its annual meeting in Toronto.
Also on Tuesday, Statistics Canada releases the wholesale trade figures for February. The data serves as a good indicator of the health of the Canadian economy, and the business community uses the information to analyze market performance.
Canada’s largest publicly traded diversified mining company reports its first-quarter earnings results before markets open for trading on Tuesday. Prices for its metals have suffered in recent months due in large part to the slowing Chinese economy. Analysts expect the company to report a profit of 15 cents per share, according to Thomson Reuters.
Finance Minister Charles Sousa tables the Ontario budget on Thursday. The Liberal government is projecting a deficit of $10.9-billion for 2014-15, down from the $12.5-billion originally projected, and has promised to balance the books by 2017-18. Sousa says the economic blueprint will lay out plans for job creation and economic growth, but observers are speculating that tax hikes may be inevitable if the government is intent on balancing the books in two years.