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Section 2: Economic events

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Alberta released its fiscal 2010-2011 budget with a forecast record deficit of $4.7 billion, a 6.3% spending increase and a 32% draw-down of its Sustainability Fund.

The Ontario government announced it will invest $80 million in a Ford engine plant in Windsor. Ford announced spending of $590 million and recalled 360 workers at the plant.

Wal-Mart will create 6,500 jobs in retail and construction this year as part of a plan to open 35 to 40 supercenters across Canada.

The cost of Shell’s Athabasca oilsands expansion project increased by $600 million this year to $14.3 billion. Syncrude scrapped plans to build its Fort McMurray upgrader and will increase bitumen production. Suncor announced it will produce more bitumen than it upgrades rather than revive plants to build its Voyageur upgrader. South Korean-owned Korea Gas will spend $1.1 billion over the next five years to develop natural gas in BC from land owned by EnCana.


The Federal Reserve raised its discount rate by 25 basis points to 0.75%.

The Bank of England suspended its $338 billion bond-purchase plan but left open the option to resume.

Spain unveiled an austerity plan to narrow its budget deficit by $70 billion (US) over four years with spending cuts, tax increases and a rise in the retirement age from 65 to 67.

Greece received EU backing for its plan to reduce its budget deficit with new measures to boost tax revenues, spending cuts and a freeze in public sector wages.

Severe snowstorms in the mid-Atlantic states closed federal agencies for a week, affecting 270,000 government employees.

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