• Monday, June 17, 2019 - 06:42 MNI DATA: Big Week for Taking Canadian Consumer Spending Pulse 0


    By Greg Quinn

    OTTAWA (MNI) - This week will provide one of the best looks at the health of Canadian consumer spending before the July 10 BOC interest-rate decision.

    Friday brings Statistics Canada's report on retail sales for April, the start of the second quarter. Consumer spending including big-ticket items like cars was one of the only bright spots for the economy in the first quarter.

    Consumer price inflation for May is due Wednesday from Statistics Canada. Core prices have held around the BOC's 2% target for a while now, suggesting little pressure to raise or lower rates in the near term.

  • Friday, June 14, 2019 - 07:14 MNI DATA ANALYSIS: China Data Still Sluggish In May 0


    BEIJING (MNI) - China's macroeconomic indicators continue to show weakness in the May data prints, with both industrial output and fixed-asset investment (FAI) slipping below expectations, although retail sales picked up on strong May holiday demand.

    As downside risks grow, ANZ expects the People's Bank of China (PBOC) to send more supportive signals in the not too distant future. Besides a further 100 bps cut in the reserve requirement ratio over the rest of the year, ANZ also expects the central bank to lower the 7-day reverse repo rate by 5 bps in Q3 following a U.S.

  • Thursday, June 13, 2019 - 08:42 MNI DATA IMPACT: Canada Consumer Debt Ratio Near Record High 0


    By Greg Quinn

    OTTAWA (MNI) - Canadian household debt held close to a record high when compared with disposable income in the first quarter, government figures showed.

    Credit-market debt such as mortgages was 177.6% of after-tax income, unchanged from the fourth quarter of last year. The ratio was a record 178.3% in the third quarter of 2018, according to Statistics Canada figures published Thursday.

    The Bank of Canada has warned that a record buildup of consumer debts through a housing boom in Toronto and Vancouver remains a vulnerability even after governments introduced rules to curb riskier borrowing.

  • Thursday, June 13, 2019 - 08:30 MNI CANADA IMPACT: New Home Prices Flat For Third Month in April 0


    By Greg Quinn

    OTTAWA (MNI) - Canadian new home prices were unchanged for a third month in April, as declines in Toronto were matched with gains in other parts of the province of Ontario.

    Toronto prices fell 0.1% on the month in Statistics Canada's new home price index published Thursday. In Vancouver, the other city that has drawn concern about a potential housing correction, prices declined 0.2%.

    Prices were flat or declined in 19 of 27 cities in the report. Gains in Ontario cities such as Ottawa and London helped keep the overall index steady.

    The index rose 0.1% in April from a year ago.

  • Thursday, June 13, 2019 - 06:05 MNI POLICY: SNB Rates Could Go Lower; No Change to Strategy 0


    By Luke Heighton

    BERN (MNI) - The Swiss National Bank (SNB) could lower its already negative interest rates still further should the economic situation demand it, Governor Thomas Jordan said Thursday.

    "We still have room to manoeuvre, we can go to an even more expansionary monetary policy," Jordan said. "We have sufficient room to change our monetary policy in order to react to certain shocks."

    Asked when the SNB might return to positive interest rates, Jordan said: "If you look at the global economy at this moment, the point of time when interest rates will go up is probably postponed and pushed further into the future.

  • Wednesday, June 12, 2019 - 07:00 MNI DATA IMPACT:US MBA Mkt Composite +26.8%,Refi +47% Jun 7 Wk 0


    WASHINGTON (MNI) - The Mortgage Bankers Association Wednesday reported a sharp increase in mortgage activity in the June 7 week, with activity up 26.8% on a further large decline in mortgage rates.

    Here are some of the key features of the report:

    - The Refinance Index rose by 47%, while the Purchase Index rose by 10% in the current week. MBA said it made adjustment to the previous week to account for the Memorial Day holiday.

    - The 30-year average rate for a 30-year fixed mortgage fell further to 4.12% in the current week from 4.23% in the previous week, hitting its lowest point since September 2017.

    - MBA said that the further decline in mortgage rates was due to trade war concerns, bearish comments...