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Canada exports and imports fall in August, flag slowing recovery

Canada exports and imports fall in August, flag slowing recovery

By Julie Gordon

OTTAWA (Reuters) – Canada’s exports and imports both fell in August, hinting that the momentum of the recovery from the COVID-19 crisis could have slowed more than anticipated, data from Statistics Canada showed on Tuesday.

Imports fell 1.2%, while exports were down 1.0%. Canada’s trade deficit, meanwhile, narrowed slightly to C$2.45 billion ($1.85 billion), missing analyst expectations of C$2.0 billion.

Statscan revised July’s trade deficit to C$2.53 billion from an initial C$2.45 billion.

“The slowdown in trade showed up earlier than we had anticipated, and the drop in export volumes suggests that the recovery’s momentum could have slowed more than anticipated in August,” said Royce Mendes, senior economist at CIBC Economics, in a note.

Lower imports of aircraft and other transportation equipment and parts drove the import decline, while exports fell after three months of strong gains on lower exports of passenger cars and light trucks, Statscan said.

Imports from Canada’s largest trading partner, the United States, fell 1.6%, while exports to that country were up 1.0% on higher lumber exports. Exports to all countries remained 7% below pre-pandemic levels, while imports remained down 5.1%, Statscan said.

“Overall, the fact that we haven’t fully recovered in the merchandise side is a disappointment,” said Ross Prusakowski, principal economist at Export Development Canada.

Prusakowski noted that some of the export weakness was temporary, pointing to a strike at the Port of Montreal in August that had an impact on shipments, particularly to Europe.

“That’s one area where we think there might be some strength coming back,” Prusakowski said.

Analysts also noted that a July boost caused by shorter seasonal shutdowns at most auto assembly plants did not continue into August, returning trade in that segment to more typical levels.

Still, export levels of passenger cars and light trucks were

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New Yelp Policy Will Flag Businesses Accused of Racism

New Yelp Policy Will Flag Businesses Accused of Racism

Yelp  (YELP) – Get Report rolled out a new feature Friday that will alert users when an establishment has been associated with what the review site called “egregious, racially charged actions.” 

The San Francisco company’s site enables users to rank and comment about businesses.

“As the nation reckons with issues of systemic racism, we’ve seen in the last few months that there is a clear need to warn consumers about businesses associated with egregious, racially charged actions to help people make more informed spending decisions,” the company said in a statement. 

A banner with a red exclamation point and a tile of “Business Accused of Racist Behavior” will appear under a business where “someone associated with this business was accused of racist behavior.”

The banner also will say whether the racist behavior resulted in an influx of people posting their views to a business’s Yelp page. Those negative reviews must reflect actual first-hand customer experiences, the company said. 

Twitter to Turn Off Some Retweets of Misleading Posts

To protect against what it calls “media-fueled reviews,” it will require that user experiences be first-hand accounts of racist behavior. 

Yelp reported seeing more than a doubling of of media-fueled “incidences” on the site so far in 2020. 

From May 26 through Sept. 30 the company placed more than 450 alerts on business pages that were either accused of, or the target of, “racist behavior related to the Black Lives Matter movement.”

Once Yelp notices an unusual spike in activity on a business’s Yelp page, the company’s moderators investigate and temporarily disable content, as they place an alert warning users that some reviews may not be based on first-hand experiences. 

When allegations of racism are present, the company will default to a general public attention alert and will escalate that banner

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