6.6% (And don’t forget to tip) diners, parents hit by rising prices as minimum wage hikes passed on – the globe and mail database wiki

The cost of food purchased from restaurants climbed in ontario by 6.6 per cent in february from a year earlier, on the heels of january’s 4.9-per-cent rise.

"We believe that the january CPI report did not fully capture the increase in minimum wages in ontario in january," said HSBC canada economist david watt.

"As statistics canada surveys consumer prices in the first two weeks of the month, we think that some service providers might not have adjusted their prices in time for the consumer price survey."

"In a nutshell, earnings growth usually accelerates because of share buybacks and cost cutting, or because of top-line demand growth – recently we’ve been witnessing the latter," mr.Adjusted earnings kavcic said.

"While it’s true that buybacks are a steady source of support for per-share earnings, they have not accelerated meaningfully yet, running steadily around US$125-billion per quarter for the S&P 500," he added.

"That said, tax cuts and repatriation will likely increase buyback activity this year, but that would only build on the economy-driven strength seen to date."

"At the beginning of the month, president trump indicated that he would implement tariffs in a ‘loving way,’ maybe in an attempt to suggest that he didn’t want to spook equity investors," said CMC markets chief analyst michael hewson.

"If recent price action is any guide, markets are clearly not ‘loving’ what is happening right now, which is being exacerbated by rising concerns that the tech sector, which has driven most of the gains in U.S equity markets, could be on the cusp of being clobbered by increasing regulation, as well as possible taxation changes."

Bank canada

This week also brings three budgets, from ontario and quebec, where pre-election spending should shower us with goodies, to newfoundland and labrador.

"The run-up to easter sees a quiet week for markets on both the corporate and economic fronts," said IG chief market analyst chris beauchamp.

"Only consumer confidence in the U.S. Is likely to provoke much comment, but with its initial public offering (IPO) looming, spotify’s financial forecasts will provide plenty of interest."

The province "continues to lean toward surpluses, debt reduction and tax relief, standing in stark contrast" to ontario, noted bank of montreal.Adjusted earnings

In fact, quebec "will be tabling a fifth straight year in the black, with some modest further tax relief likely on the business side (recall that personal income taxes were reduced last year)," BMO’s canadian rates and macro strategist, benjamin reitzes, and mr. Kavcic said in a lookahead.

"Most notably, the province has already announced that it intends to use $10-billion of generations fund savings (much of which has been amassed during recent surplus years) to pay down debt over the coming five years – this is positive from a spread perspective as it should lower the borrowing trajectory."

As for newfoundland and labrador, its budget "comes amidst still-tough times, both fiscally and economically," said CIBC world markets chief economist avery shenfeld.Bank canada

Royal bank of canada stock analyst paul treiber expects blackberry to report a 27-per-cent drop in revenue from a year earlier, to US$217-million, and adjusted earnings per share of nothing.

"We expect Q4 results in line with street expectations, though upside is possible on [intellectual property] revenue, similar to recent quarters," mr. Treiber, whose price target in blackberry shares is US$11, said in a research note.

"Investors are likely to focus on blackberry’s [fiscal 2019 estimated] software outlook; management may provide an outlook for 10– to 15-per-cent software growth, which would imply acceleration of non-IP software revenue," he added.Adjusted earnings share

CIBC analysts todd coupland and amy dyck have a more optimistic view, with a 12- to 18-month price target of US$15, expecting to see quarterly revenue of US$246-million and adjusted earnings per share of 7 US cents.

"While the economics and timing were not disclosed, our view is it supports our growth assumption for software (excluding licence revenue) in [fiscal] 2019 of 8 per cent."

"Assuming revenue continues to expand alongside solid nominal GDP growth, that would open the door for a heavy slate of new spending promises – early indications are that health care, pharma and childcare costs will be major focuses," said BMO’s mr.Adjusted earnings reitzes and mr. Kavcic.

"And, if recent liberal messaging is any guide, look for the province to focus on how this deficit doesn’t cause a deterioration in the net debt-to-GDP ratio," they added.

"At any rate, this will be a spending-heavy, pre-election budget that likely won’t do any favour from a credit perspective at this later stage of the cycle."

Statistics canada is expected to report that the canadian economy almost flatlined in january, kicking off a year of slower growth than we saw in 2017.

Economists forecast the report will show GDP expanded by a tiny 0.1 per cent from december, with the possibility of no growth at all, amid slumping manufacturing sales and a housing market hit by new mortgage qualification rules that came into effect at the beginning of the year.Adjusted earnings share

"Very marginal growth would reaffirm our point that even with some reduction in trade uncertainties, the bank of canada will be in no rush to raise interest rates again," said CIBC’s andrew grantham.

"Indeed, the 0.1-per-cent reading for january would have us requiring stronger growth in the remainder of the quarter to meet our 2.2-per-cent forecast for Q1, let alone get up to the boc’s 2.5-per-cent projection."