Five things to watch this week in Canadian business:
> Brother, can you spare a dime?
Come Monday, the government of British Columbia will start lending up to $37,500 interest-free to first-time homebuyers. The government, which is launching the plan months before provincial general election, says the measure will help those struggling to save for a down payment. But economists and other experts warn the proposal will inflate housing prices in one of the most heated real estate markets on the continent.
> For sale
Speaking of housing, the Canadian Real Estate Association is set to release the December home resale figures on Monday. Last year was one of the most heated in recent memory for some local real estate markets, but there are expectations of a cooling in 2017 as Canadians start to feel the full effect of interest rates that have started to rise as well as new federal rules that govern borrowing.
> Growth, risk and Trump
The Bank of Canada will deliver its first interest rate announcement and monetary policy report of the year on Wednesday. The report will be closely scrutinized for the central bank's assessment of economic growth and risk, days before Donald Trump becomes president of the U.S.
> Economy talk
The prime minister will not attend the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland this year, but he is dispatching six cabinet ministers to attend the annual event. The confab kicks off Tuesday and features prominent experts in matters of global importance, including politics and high finance.
Statistics Canada will release the inflation figures for December on Friday. The data will wrap up a year that kicked off with sharp spikes in prices for food such as vegetables — so much so that it became known as the "cauliflower crisis." More recently, food costs have been falling generally.