Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Business Watch

  • Print

Thumbs-up for Manitoba

FOR the second time in a week, a major economic forecaster is predicting more good times ahead for the Manitoba economy.

In its latest provincial Economics Outlook report released Thursday, the Royal Bank of Canada predicts the Manitoba economy will follow this year's projected 2.5 per cent growth with growth of 2.3 per cent in 2014 and 2.6 per cent in 2015.

The bank predicts Manitoba won't see a repeat of this year's bumper grain crop, so that will decrease agricultural production in 2014. That decline will offset the positive impact of an anticipated increase in manufacturing output and a continued high level of residential and non-residential construction, it adds.

However, "a return to positive growth in agriculture in 2015, along with continued growth in manufacturing, is expect to offset some slowing in residential construction," it says, "thereby allowing overall GDP growth to be maintained at a solid 2.6 per cent in 2015."

Earlier this week, the Conference Board of Canada predicted the Manitoba economy will grow 2.2 per cent this year and a robust 3.4 per cent in 2015. However, it's not as optimistic as RBC about how well Manitoba has done this year. It thinks it will finish the year with real gross domestic product growth of only 1.5 per cent -- a full percentage point less than RBC's estimate. It blamed this year's lacklustre performance on weakness in the metals-mining sector, which weighed down overall GDP growth.


IPhone factories reform

SAN FRANCISCO -- A labour group monitoring three Chinese factories that make iPhones and other Apple products says once-oppressive working conditions have steadily improved in the last 18 months, but more must be done to reduce the amount of overtime employees work.

The audit released Thursday by the Fair Labor Association represents the final assessment in a process that started last year at plants run in China by Apple's largest supplier, Foxconn.

Reports depicting the Foxconn plants as inhumane sweatshops prompted Apple Inc. to hold its foreign contractors to higher standards. The Cupertino, Calif., company joined the Fair Labor Association last year as part of a commitment to improve the situation.

Apple is the only major tech company in a 14-year-old labour group that includes clothing makers, shoemakers and other manufacturers promising to curb abuses in overseas factories.

The report concluded Foxconn factories in Longhua, Chengdu and Guanlan had reached virtually all the goals set out in a plan adopted last year.

Excessively long work schedules remain a problem, however. The FLA says more than half the 170,000 employees at the Foxconn factories exceeded China's legal limit of 36 monthly overtime hours from March through October.


Auto mileage improving

DETROIT -- New cars and trucks sold in the U.S. last year got an average of 23.6 miles per gallon in combined city and highway driving, a record that came mainly through improvements to engines and transmissions, according to the Environmental Protection Agency.

Mazda led all automakers with an average of 27.1 mpg, followed closely by Honda with 26.6 and Volkswagen at 25.8. Chrysler-Fiat, which relies more on trucks and larger cars for its sales, had the worst mileage at 20.1, followed by Daimler, maker of Mercedes-Benz luxury vehicles, at 21.1. General Motors, which also sells a lot of trucks and SUVs, was third from the bottom at 21.7 mpg, according to the report.

The increase for 2012, the latest year for which full calculations are available, was 1.2 mpg above 2011's number, the second-largest annual increase in 30 years, the agency said in an annual report released Thursday. The EPA estimates the average mileage of 2013 cars will rise another 0.4 mpg to 24. Final figures for 2013 won't be available until next year. Carbon dioxide emissions also are at a record low, 376 grams per mile.


Poker hostess admits guilt

NEW YORK -- A former high-stakes poker-game hostess to the stars has pleaded guilty in New York in a sprawling federal prosecution.

Molly Bloom pleaded guilty Thursday to illegal gambling in Manhattan.

Prosecutors allege two Russian-American organized-crime enterprises laundered $100 million from illegal online sports betting.

Bloom moved her poker games from Los Angeles to New York to cater to Wall Street financiers. She returned to the West Coast in 2010. Her lawyer says she was giving up poker. She has since signed a book deal.

Media reports have linked Leonardo DiCaprio and Ben Affleck to the games.


-- staff / news services

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition December 13, 2013 B8

Fact Check

Fact Check

Have you found an error, or know of something we’ve missed in one of our stories?
Please use the form below and let us know.

* Required
  • Please post the headline of the story or the title of the video with the error.

  • Please post exactly what was wrong with the story.

  • Please indicate your source for the correct information.

  • Yes


  • This will only be used to contact you if we have a question about your submission, it will not be used to identify you or be published.

  • Cancel

Having problems with the form?

Contact Us Directly
  • Print

You can comment on most stories on You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

You can comment on most stories on You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

Have Your Say

New to commenting? Check out our Frequently Asked Questions.

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscribers only. why?

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press Subscribers only. why?

The Winnipeg Free Press does not necessarily endorse any of the views posted. By submitting your comment, you agree to our Terms and Conditions. These terms were revised effective April 16, 2010.


Make text: Larger | Smaller


Winnipeg Cheapskate: Tech support alternatives

View more like this

Photo Store Gallery

  • KEN GIGLIOTTI  WINNIPEG FREE PRESS / July 23 2009 - 090723 - Bart Kives story - Harry Lazarenko Annual River Bank Tour - receding water from summer rains and erosion  damage by flood  and ice  during spring flooding -  Red River , Lyndale Dr. damage to tree roots , river bank damage  , high water marks after 2009 Flood - POY
  • Marc Gallant/Winnipeg Free Press. Local- Peregrine Falcon Recovery Project. Baby peregrine falcons. 21 days old. Three baby falcons. Born on ledge on roof of Radisson hotel on Portage Avenue. Project Coordinator Tracy Maconachie said that these are third generation falcons to call the hotel home. Maconachie banded the legs of the birds for future identification as seen on this adult bird swooping just metres above. June 16, 2004.

View More Gallery Photos


Will you miss the old Banana Boat building?

View Results

View Related Story

Ads by Google