• 2019-05-29 10:00

    By Greg Quinn

    OTTAWA (MNI) - The Bank of Canada left its key interest rate at 1.75% and said this degree of accommodative policy remains appropriate. There was no new clear signal about a potential change in rates in the statement Wednesday, and the decision to hold was expected by investors and economists surveyed by MNI. The BOC said there is increasing evidence the economy shifted into a pickup starting in the second quarter including consumer spending, exports and signs of firming business investment. Trade tensions have risen globally and Canadian companies are seeing increased restrictions on trade with China. Exporters should benefit from the end of metals tariffs with the U.S. and from signs that a replacement for the Nafta trade pact will be ratified.

  • 2019-05-28 05:10

    By Greg Quinn

    OTTAWA (MNI) - Canada's economy probably grew fast enough in the first quarter to push back the need for talk of lower interest rates from the central bank.

    Gross domestic product expanded at a 0.8% annualized pace between January and March, according to economists surveyed by MNI. That would be faster than the Bank of Canada's April estimate of 0.3%, and the fourth-quarter reading of 0.4%, giving policy makers reason to see the economy as regaining momentum.

    Investors will scan the report for clues to the second quarter, when growth is poised to pick up further on record job creation and signs that housing markets and oil exports have stabilized.

  • 2019-05-23 08:44

    By Greg Quinn

    OTTAWA (MNI) - Canadian wholesale sales rose 1.4% to C$64.1 billion in March, a fourth straight increase and the fastest pace in two years, with gains across most sectors led by building supplies.

    The gain reported by Statistics Canada Thursday was faster than the estimates of 0.8% from Bank of Montreal and 1.1% from CIBC. However, the solid March gain followed downward revisions in both January and February. Statistics Canada lowered its estimate for February sales to a 0.2% gain from 0.3%, and for January to 0.3% from 0.4%.

    Here are some other key takeaways from the data released Thursday:

    - Six of seven major industries reported gains in March, including a 4.5% rise in building materials and supplies that followed a 5.0% decline in February.

  • 2019-05-22 08:43

    By Greg Quinn

    OTTAWA (MNI) - Canadian retail sales increased in March for the second consecutive month, up a softer-than-expected 1.1% to C$51.3 billion, led by a 6.0% price-related rise in gasoline sales. The March gain was the biggest increase in total sales since May 2018 and followed an upward revision in March to a 1.0% gain from the 0.8% rise previously reported.

    Analysts in an MNI survey had expected a 1.2% gain.

    The following are the other key points from the March data on retail sales released Wednesday by Statistics Canada:

    - Retail sales excluding motor vehicles and parts were up 1.7%, faster than the MNI expected gain of 1.4%.

    - Excluding price changes, sales in volume terms rose 0.3% in March.

  • 2019-05-16 09:08

    By Courtney Tower

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

    - Sales increased 2.1% in March, matching expectations by analysts surveyed by MNI. While sales were up in eight of the 10 provinces, and well reversed the 0.2% decline in February, they were up only in 12 of 21 industries covered, representing 56% of the Canadian manufacturing sector. Real sales were up 1.6% after decreasing by -0.3% in February.

    - Among sectors posting the largest gains was a 4.5% increase for sales of transportation equipment after three consecutive monthly declines. Their main gain was in motor vehicle sales (+6.5%), with higher sales at all Canadian motor vehicle assembly plants.

  • 2019-05-15 09:29

    By Courtney Tower

    WASHINGTON (MNI) - The following are the key points from the April data on Canadian CPI released Wednesday by Statistics Canada.

    - Total CPI rose 0.4% on the month when analysts surveyed by MNI had expected an increase of 0.5%. Headline CPI year-over-year was +2.0%, up one notch from +1.9% in March.

    - The Bank of Canada April core, NSA, was flat, the first no-growth level since December of 2018. The year-over-year BOC core was +1.5% versus +2.4% the previous month. The seasonally adjusted BOC core was +0.2% versus March +0.1%. For the Bank of Canada's three preferred measures of core inflation, CPI-trim came in at 2.0% and CPI-median at 1.9%, both below the 2.1% for each recorded in March.

  • 2019-05-10 09:16

    By Courtney Tower

    OTTAWA (MNI) - The Canadian labor market surprised in April with a gain of 106,500 jobs, all in full-time work and the unemployment rate dropped to 5.7% from 5.8%, data released Friday by Statistics Canada showed.

    Analysts in an MNI survey had expected employment gains of just 4,000. The unemployment rate dropped a notch although the participation rate increased to 65.9 from 65.7 the previous month.

    For the other day's release, a 2.1% rise in overall March building permits, there was a concerning 1.5% decline in residential permits from the previous month. The Bank of Canada has identified the housing market as one of its chief Canadian economic concerns. Non-residential permits, on the other hand, were up by a strong 7.9%.

  • 2019-05-09 09:53

    By Courtney Tower

    OTTAWA (MNI) - Canada's goods trade deficit in March was -C$3.2 billion, a narrowing from -C$3.4 billion in February but below the -C$ 2.4 billion the market had expected, Statistics Canada reported Thursday.

    The -C$3.4 billion deficit for February was revised from -C$2.895 billion first reported. Exports were up 3.2% to $49.0 billion from C$47.5 billion in February, which was very slightly revised from C$47.97 billion. Imports were up 2.5% on the month at C$52.26 billion from a revised C$50.87 billion in February.

    For the first quarter this year the picture worsens.

  • 2019-04-30 09:20

    By Courtney Tower

    OTTAWA (MNI) - Canada GDP fell back in February, contracting by -0.1% on declines in both goods and services, Statistics Canada reported Tuesday.

    Meanwhile, the Industrial Product Price Index rose 1.3% in March, mainly on higher prices for energy and petroleum products. And the Raw Materials Price Index increased 2.8% in March, mainly because of higher prices for crude energy products.

    The GDP decline followed 0.3% growth in January and was led down by a 1.6% decline in mining, quarrying and oil and gas extraction, its sixth consecutive month of decline.

  • 2019-04-24 13:06

    By Courtney Tower

    OTTAWA (MNI) - The Bank of Canada's 1.75% policy interest rate is going to hold for some time to come, although weak exports, business investment and GDP growth are likely to improve in months ahead, Governor Stephen Poloz suggested to a press conference Wednesday.

    Poloz told reporters that there is in the BOC "no rush to get back into the saddle" on rate hikes.

    "We need time for the (fairly modest) excess capacity (that has grown in late 2018 and early 2019) to be absorbed ," he said.