North America

  • 2019-04-18 10:45


    By Jean Yung

    WASHINGTON (MNI) - The U.S. economy is on track for continued growth and for inflation to remain near target after the Federal Reserve suspended its three-year tightening campaign this year, Richmond Fed research director Kartik Athreya said in an interview Wednesday.

    He added that domestic risks look benign relative to uncertainties from abroad and dismissed concerns that a brief inversion of the three-month-10-year yield curve last month portended a near-term recession, noting that negative term premia have been a drag on long-term rates.

    "Things are coming back to where one would have expected them, and it's not warranted to put a great deal of weight at this point to a recession or a significant downturn.

  • 2019-04-18 08:31


    By Yali N'Diaye

    OTTAWA (MNI) - The following are the key points from the data on Canadian retail sales released Thursday by Statistics Canada:

    - Following three consecutive monthly declines, retail sales rebounded 0.8% in February, beating the market consensus of +0.4%. The increase was the largest since May 2018 and lifted the 12-month growth rate to 1.8% from 0.9%. The gain more than erased the 0.4% drop recorded in January, which was revised from -0.3%.

    - Details were more mixed than the headline suggests. The gain was mostly a price story as real sales, more relevant to GDP, edged up just 0.2%, failing to offset January's 0.3% decrease.

    - In addition, gains were concentrated in 5 of 11 subsectors, even though they represented 73% of retail trade.

  • 2019-04-17 10:00


    --Feb Wholesale Sales Up 0.3%; Inv/Sales Ratio Unch At 1.35
    --Business Sales Tracking +0.2%

    WASHINGTON (MNI) - February wholesale inventories increased by 0.2%, vs. +0.3% expected by both a Bloomberg consensus and an MNI survey of analysts, while wholesale sales were up 0.3% in the month, data released by the U.S. Commerce Department Wednesday showed.

    Retail trade sales, those excluding food services sales, were already reported down 0.2% in February's retail sales release, while factory shipments rose 0.4%, so an MNI calculation sees business sales tracking for a 0.2% gain.

    Factory inventories were already reported up 0.3%.

  • 2019-04-17 08:48


    By Yali N'Diaye

    OTTAWA (MNI) - The following are the key points from the March data on the Canadian CPI released Wednesday by Statistics Canada:

    - Headline unadjusted CPI rose at a steady pace of 0.7% on the month, as expected by the market and analysts in a MNI survey. On a seasonally adjusted basis, CPI was up 0.3% on the month, and 0.2% excluding food and energy.

    - Increases were recorded in all major categories except for a 0.1% decline in household operations, furnishings and equipment. The largest upward contributor was gasoline, with a monthly gain of 11.6%, the largest since March 2007. CPI excluding gasoline was up 0.4%.

  • 2019-04-17 08:34


    By Shikha Dave and Harrison Clarke

    WASHINGTON (MNI) - The U.S. international trade gap narrowed to $49.4 billion in February from an unrevised $51.1 billion in January, a smaller gap than the $53.4 billion deficit expected by the Bloomberg consensus and the $53.7 billion gap expected by an MNI survey, data released by the Commerce Department Wednesday morning showed.

    Here are the key findings from the release:

    - Imports rose on gains in capital goods ex. autos, and consumer goods. These were partially offset by decreases in industrial supplies and materials, and foods, feeds and beverages.

    - Exports rose on gains in capital goods ex. autos, led by civilian aircraft, and autos.

  • 2019-04-17 08:30


    By Courtney Tower

    OTTAWA (MNI) - Following are the key points from the February data on Canadian merchandise trade released Wednesday by Statistics Canada:

    - The goods trade deficit narrowed to C$2.9 billion from C$3.1 billion, which was revised from -C$4.2 billion in January. Analysts in a MNI survey and the market had expected a deficit of C$3.5 billion. The trade deficit for the previous month was revised due to late reporting of crude oil transactions, which were revised C$1.2 billion upward.

    - There was a widespread decrease in imports in February after two consecutive monthly increases. Imports declined 1.6% to C$50.9 billion and were down in eight of 11 sub-sectors. Import prices were the cause, down 1.6%, while volumes were essentially unchanged.

  • 2019-04-16 10:51


    --Repeating Story Initially Sent at 7:50 ET/11:50 GMT Tuesday

    WASHINGTON (MNI) - The Federal Reserve wants to boost its holdings of short-term Treasury bills to give itself flexibility to stimulate growth in another downturn, but officials are wary of moving too quickly for fear of distorting markets, Philadelphia Fed economist Roc Armenter told MNI.

    Owning more bills would allow the Fed to quickly reinvest maturing proceeds into longer-term debt to stimulate markets, a la 2011's Operation Twist, in which the Fed sold $400 billion of short-dated bonds and bought longer-term Treasuries to lower long-term rates and encourage people to invest in riskier assets.

    It would also permit the option, if necessary, of more quickly shrinking the Fed's balance sheet -- b

  • 2019-04-16 08:36


    By Yali N'Diaye

    OTTAWA (MNI) - The following are the key points from the February data on the Canadian manufacturing sales released Tuesday by Statistics Canada:

    - Sales decreased 0.2% in February, not as much as the 0.5% drop expected by analysts in a MNI survey. However, estimates for the previous two months were revised down: to +0.8% from +1.0% for January and to -1.5% from -1.1% in December. Real sales fell 0.5% after increasing 1.5% in January.

    - Declines were widespread across 15 of 21 industries, representing 65.9% of manufacturing trade, led by a 1.4% contraction in durable goods industries. In particular, auto sales fell 4.4% on the month. Excluding motor vehicles, sales actually rose 0.2%.

  • 2019-04-11 11:32


    By Jean Yung

    WASHINGTON (MNI) - U.S. growth and inflation indicators would need to deteriorate relative to the Fed's forecasts for officials to consider an interest rate cut, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis President Jim Bullard said Thursday, adding that he's uncertain about the economy's performance so far this year.

    His remarks come on the heels of Wednesday's publication of the minutes of the FOMC's March meeting, in which a majority of officials said the current level of rates appear to be appropriate for the rest of the year.

    "The (Summary of Economic Projections) is essentially saying if the economy evolves as expected, we would not make any changes in 2019," Bullard told reporters after giving a speech in Tupelo, Miss.

  • 2019-04-11 08:30


    By Yali N'Diaye

    OTTAWA (MNI) - The following are the key points from the February data on the Canadian New Housing Price Index released Thursday by Statistics Canada:

    - Canada's new housing prices were flat in February after edging down 0.1% in January, marking the seventh month without any increase. The index recovered 0.1% year-over-year.

    - House only prices were flat on the month and down 0.1% year-over-year. The index posted its fifth consecutive decrease on a 12-month basis, which had not happened since November 2008-December 2009, when it fell during 14 consecutive months.

    - Land only prices were also flat on the month, for a 12-month gain of 0.3%.

    - Weakness in large cities explained much of February's performance.