Five Canadian business stories to watch this week


Housing starts

Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp. will release on Tuesday its preliminary housing start data for June. The annual pace of housing starts slowed more than expected in May to 202,337 units, down 13.3 per cent from 233,410 units in April.

Energy conference

The TD Securities energy conference in Calgary starts on Tuesday. The conference, which will hear presentations from some of the biggest names in the Canadian energy sector, comes in the wake of a provincial election in Alberta earlier this year that saw Jason Kenney and the United Conservatives replace Rachel Notley's NDP government.

Couche-Tard earnings

Alimentation Couche-Tard releases fourth-quarter and full-year results on Tuesday. The Laval, Que.-based retailer raised its quarterly dividend by 25 per cent in May after posting record third-quarter earnings that missed analyst expectations.

Rate announcement

The Bank of Canada will make an interest rate announcement and release its updated monetary policy report on Wednesday. The central bank has kept is key interest rate target on hold in recent months after the economy hit a soft patch at the end of 2018 and the start of this year. However, recent economic data has suggested the economy is picking up steam as the Bank of Canada has predicted.

Pot prices

Statistics Canada will release Wednesday its StatsCannabis crowdsourced cannabis prices for the second quarter. The agency reported in April that the average cost of dried cannabis has gone up by more than 17 per cent since legalization, with consumers in New Brunswick and Manitoba seeing the biggest jumps.