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Noah Zivitz

Managing Editor, BNN Bloomberg

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Some ominous signals about the state of household balance sheets on the eve of a Bank of Canada rate decision. New data from Equifax shows consumer delinquencies are on the rise among Canada’s eldest, with those aged 65+ falling behind on their debt at the fastest rate (+7.2 per cent y/y in Q4). "As we expected, the worm is turning in the Canadian credit market," is how an Equifax VP described the situation in a release. CTV's Chief Financial Commentator Pattie Lovett-Reid will dig into this and assess how concerned the Bank of Canada should be, considering the national non-mortgage delinquency rate is still barely above one per cent.

‘BUYERS ON THE SIDELINES’ IN TORONTO

Home sales in the Greater Toronto Area slipped 2.4 per cent year-over-year in February (albeit amid a modest uptick in prices), prompting the head of the local real estate board to push for regulatory relief. “The (B-20) stress test should be reviewed and consideration should be given to bringing back 30-year amortizations for federally insured mortgages,” said TREB President Garry Bhaura in a release. The numbers land one day after evidence of a far more severe cooldown in Vancouver’s housing market.

PHILPOTT QUITS CABINET

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau lauded Jane Philpott’s “tireless” work ethic last night, just a few hours after she quit his cabinet while citing her lack of confidence in how the government has handled the scandal surrounding SNC-Lavalin. For now, all other cabinet members’ offices are telling CTV News they’re standing by the PM. Meanwhile, Conservative Party Leader Andrew Scheer is challenging them to “stand up and be heard.” Against all of that, SNC shares have rallied almost eight per cent from the Feb. 14 low. We’re looking forward to perspective from ex-Quebec Finance Minister Carlos Leitao, who joins Amber Kanwar and Jon Erlichman on The Open.

PDAC CONTINUES

BNN Bloomberg's Andrew Bell is still on the ground at PDAC, with two big interviews lined up today: Franco-Nevada Chairman Pierre Lassonde and Teck CEO Don Lindsay. Watch for those conversations on Commodities

CHINA CUTS GROWTH EXPECTATIONS

The National People’s Congress is underway in Beijing, with China’s premier dialing back growth expectations for this year. The 2019 GDP target has been set at a range of 6.0-6.5 per cent, compared to 2018’s goal of “about” 6.5 per cent growth. The premier also unveiled tax cuts and a 2.6-trillion yuan infrastructure spending plan.

OTHER NOTABLE STORIES

-More fallout from the Quebec tobacco class action: British American Tobacco today said it will take a 436-million pound ($766.7M) charge this year to reflect a deposit that has been held in escrow since 2017.

-John Schnatter has agreed to work with Papa John’s to select a new independent director who could replace him on the company’s board of directors.

-Analysts at JPMorgan says major miners like BHP and Rio Tinto might want to assess assets that come up for grabs if Barrick ends up striking a deal with Newmont.

NOTABLE RELEASES/EVENTS

-Notable earnings: Aecon, Target

-Notable data: ISM U.S. services index, U.S. new home sales

-10:30 a.m. ET: Prime Minister Justin Trudeau participates in armchair discussion at PDAC convention in Toronto

-10:30 a.m. ET: Environment and Climate Change Minister Catherine McKenna holds media avail in Windsor, Ont.

-1:45 p.m. ET: Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland tours Lumenpulse facility in Longueuil, Quebec (plus avail)​

-3:45 p.m. ET: Prime Minister Trudeau holds photo op at Canadian Tire in Regina ​​

-Brian Mulroney, Michael Sabia, David Dodge among speakers at The Prime Ministers Series conference in Ottawa

-Barack Obama delivers remarks in Calgary (2:00 p.m. ET) and Vancouver (7:30 a.m. ET)

-China National People's Congress begins

Every morning BNN Bloomberg's Managing Editor Noah Zivitz writes a ‘chase note’ to BNN Bloomberg's editorial staff listing the stories and events that will be in the spotlight that day. Have it delivered to your inbox before the trading day begins by heading to www.bnnbloomberg.ca/subscribe