Boston, MA -- (SBWIRE) -- 08/01/2012 -- Economic growth is likely to slow in Canada in 2012, as overstretched households retrench their spending, added to weakening global conditions. We are therefore forecasting real GDP growth of 2.0% in 2012 and 2.3% in 2013. Our core view is that households will continue to restrain expenditure amid stretched balance sheets, and while income growth remains subdued. Reflecting these factors, several consumer sentiment indicators certainly suggest a slowdown in consumer activity as 2012 progresses.
Headline Industry Data (local currency)
- 2012 per capita food consumption value = +1.8%; forecast to 2016 = +5.7%
- 2012 alcoholic drink value sales = +4.0%; forecast to 2016 = +19.3%
- 2012 soft drink value sales = +4.3%; forecast to 2016 = +16.1%
- 2012 mass grocery retail value sales = +3.5%; forecast to 2016 = +12.2%
Key Company Trends And Developments
Saputo FY Earnings Impacted by Stagnant Cake Sales: Canadian dairy giant Saputo has recently reported a 15.4% fall in annual profits to CAD380.8mn for the year to the end of March 2012 after recording a CAD125mn impairment charge on its small grocery products business. Saputo blamed the charge on 'stagnating growth in market wide snack cake sales'. Annual sales from the division fell by 5.2% to CAD134mn. Despite stagnant cake sales, the company has said it has no plans to sell its struggling bakery division.
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Couche-Tard Looks to Expand into Europe: Canadian c-store giant Alimentation Couche-Tard has recently agreed in principle to purchase Statoil Fuel and Retail for around US$2.8bn, a move that will provide the company with the largest chain of petrol stations in Scandinavia as well as a major foothold in eastern Europe. Statoil is targeting organic growth of 50-60 new stations a year, of which 40-50 will be in central and eastern Europe to add to its current network of 2,300.
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