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 Newly-appointed Bank of Canada Governor Stephen Poloz held the bank’s trend-setting overnight rate at 1%, and signaled that consumers and homebuyers need not worry about borrowing costs shooting up anytime soon.

 

Poloz, who took over from Mark Carney at Ottawa’s central bank last month, said global business conditions remain modest and Canada’s “economic growth is expected to be choppy in the near term.”

 

The bank cited the unknown negative economic impact of a string of disasters, including flooding in Calgary and Toronto, and the devastating train accident in Quebec.

 

With the Canadian economy not expected to be firing on all cylinders until mide-2015, Poloz had not been expected to deviate quickly from Carney’s low-rate policy. The central bank has kept its overnight rate, which influences borrowing costs charged by commercial banks, unchanged at 1% since 2010.

 

Click here to read the full article in The Star.

 

While the Bank of Canada today maintained its trendsetting policy rate, it did adjust upwards Canada’s growth rate for this year to 1.8% from its previous call of 1.5% – almost entirely due to a stronger than anticipated first quarter.

 

And, although risks remain, the bank sees some hope for a pick-up in Canadian growth later this year.

 

Click here for the top four challenges seen facing Canada’s economy as outlined in the Bank’s latest quarterly outlook, courtesy of the Financial Post.

 

Six-in-10 newcomers (60%) who arrived in Canada in the past year say that they lack financial knowledge, including how to establish and build credit during their first year living in Canada, according to the RBC Newcomer Financial Attitudes Poll.

 

Among those who have lived in Canada between two and five years, 92% of newer Canadians found their financial literacy about borrowing options improved.

 

“We have an opportunity to improve financial understanding for newcomers to Canada when they first arrive and we have a role to play in making sure that they are getting the right advice from day one,” said Paul Sy, Director, Multicultural Markets, RBC. “Building a strong credit score is important to helping you get established in Canada, particularly when the time comes to buy a car or a family home.”

 

During the first year in their new home country, few newcomers believed that using a credit card would help them establish a credit rating (9%) or make life more convenient (12%). But over time, these newcomers pick up financial knowledge quickly, as they integrate into their communities and learn to use credit responsibly. For immigrants who have lived in Canada for two to five years, they were now more likely to agree that credit cards make life more convenient (59%) and that it’s easy to use a credit card to help establish a Canadian credit rating (54%).

 

“Economically and socially, it is in Canada’s best interest for its consumers to be financially literate and practice good financial habits,” said Sy.

 

Click here for more details from RBC.

 

It’s not unusual to bring baggage into a new relationship and financial baggage like a persistent credit card debt or lingering student loan is no exception.

 

Interestingly, research from TD Canada Trust shows one-in-five Canadian couples (22%) admit they’re not always 100% honest with their partner about their spending and saving habits.

 

“Financial baggage is not uncommon – we all have independent financial lives before we enter into a relationship and that can include old student loans, a tarnished credit rating or, on the flip-side, a healthy RSP or savings account,” said John Tracy, a Senior VP at TD Canada Trust. “Opening up about finances can be hard, especially at the start of a new relationship, but it is vital couples have honest conversations in order to build a solid financial future together.”

 

Dating expert Christine Hart agrees that couples need to be honest about any baggage – financial or otherwise – they bring into a relationship. Open communication is crucial in determining compatibility with a potential partner.

 

“Going through a recent credit card statement over cocktails is certainly not the most romantic way to approach a first date, but avoiding tough money topics altogether can be dangerous,” said Hart. “As the relationship grows, so too should the conversations about future goals and finances.”

 

Click here for advice from TD Canada Trust and Hart to couples on how and when to have the difficult conversation about money.

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