The prime lending rate took its first significant drop in eight months last week. The rate dipped by almost a quarter of a point to 13.07 per cent from 13.34 per cent. It was the single biggest decline since January, and the major chartered banks quickly followed the Bank of Canada’s trendsetting rate. Analysts said that concerns about a possible recession led the central bank to begin easing its tightmoney policy. Meanwhile, Statistics Canada reported that the inflation rate fell to 4.2 per cent in July, from 4.3 per cent in June, the lowest since December, 1988. It was the fifth consecutive decline in the rate.
HOUSE SALES SAG
Housing sales across Canada fell in July for the seventh straight month. According to the Canadian Real Estate Association, 12,319 homes were sold in 25 cities across the country in July—a 19.1-percent decrease from the same month last year. Average house prices also fell to $151,601, compared with $153,311 in July, 1989.
Canadians are travelling to the United States in ever-increasing numbers—and spending more while they are there. Statistics Canada said that during the first six months of 1990, Canadians made 24 million one-day trips to the United States, an 18.2-per-cent increase compared with the same time last year. According to a StatsCan survey, many respondents said that they went to buy gas or food.
Flamboyant and controversial U.S. real estate tycoon Donald Trump is not nearly as rich as he had claimed. Figures released during a hearing by the New Jersey Casino Control Commission into the financial restructuring of his casino operations revealed that Trump’s hotel, real estate and gambling assets are worth $2.91 billion, not $4.62 billion as he had said. The numbers explain why Trump's hankers have been willing to reschedule his growing $3-billion debt—a quick foreclosure would cost them millions of dollars.
STELCO ASKS FOR TALKS
Stelco Inc., the giant Hamilton-based steel manufacturer, asked the Ontario ministry of labor to sit in on talks to end a strike by 10,000 steelworkers. The strikers, members of the United Steelworkers of America, walked off the job on Aug. 1 to support their wage demands.
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