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Andy Blatchford

Federal budget expected to have more wiggle room

OTTAWA—The improved economy is expected to give the Trudeau government more fiscal room than anticipated in next week's pre-election budget—but a wobbly economic finish to 2018 means conditions could look much different as the October vote approaches.

An abrupt deceleration in economic growth over the final three months of 2018 has dimmed the outlook for this year.

Bank leaves interest rate untouched

OTTAWA—The Bank of Canada left its trend-setting interest rate untouched yesterday as fresh economic developments, including the sharp drop in oil prices, threatened to delay future hikes.

The central bank's decision maintained its trend-setting rate at 1.75 percent.

It followed a quarter-point increase at the bank's previous policy meeting in October.

Coalition party wins majority in Quebec

MONTREAL—Quebecers charted a new course for their province yesterday by giving the seven-year-old Coalition Avenir Quebec a majority mandate in an election result that could create waves beyond its borders.

Quebec, Canada's second most-populous province, has joined the even bigger province of Ontario in voting for change following about 15 years of Liberal governments.