• 2019-06-06 11:48

    By Greg Quinn

    OTTAWA (MNI) - Canada's shrinking April trade deficit adds to evidence of faster economic growth in the second quarter, a boost that may not last amid signs the U.S. is escalating tensions with Mexico and China.

    Statistics Canada said the April deficit of C$966 million was the smallest in six months, and it also pared the March estimate to C$2.3 billion from C$3.2 billion. The economist consensus for April was for a C$2.8 billion shortfall.

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

    - The export rise of 1.3% was slower than March's 4.4% increase, and was led by a surprise jump in gold sales to overseas banks that will be hard to sustain in future reports.

  • 2019-06-04 09:12

    By Greg Quinn

    OTTAWA (MNI) - Canada likely added even more jobs in May after a record increase in April as the economy kept growing.

    Employment probably climbed by 5,000 last month according to the median in an MNI survey of economists, following the April increase of 106,500 that was the best ever in Statistics Canada records.

    Modest job growth should be enough to keep the unemployment rate at 5.7% or to have a slight rise to 5.8%, according to economists. The jobless rate fell to a record low of 5.6% in November and remained there again in December.

    The job market has been one of the strongest parts of Canada's economy in recent years.

  • 2019-05-31 08:30

    By Greg Quinn

    OTTAWA (MNI) - Canada's economic growth lagged expectations in the first quarter as weak foreign trade countered gains in consumer spending and business investment.

    Gross domestic product grew at a 0.4% annualized pace, while analysts in a MNI survey had expected a 0.7% increase. Statistics Canada also lowered the fourth-quarter 2018 growth estimate to 0.3% from 0.4%.

    The report confirms the ``detour'' Bank of Canada officials said the economy took late last year, and the two quarters combined are the slowest growth since an oil crash in early 2015. Policy makers held their key rate at 1.75% Wednesday and said there's evidence the economy will gather speed later this year.

  • 2019-05-30 17:19

    By Greg Quinn

    OTTAWA (MNI) - Bank of Canada Senior Deputy Governor Carolyn Wilkins said the economy is receiving stimulus from a policy interest rate that is less than both inflation and estimates of a neutral borrowing cost.

    The BOC left its key rate at 1.75% Wednesday, less than the current 2% pace of consumer price gains.

  • 2019-05-30 14:15

    By Greg Quinn

    OTTAWA (MNI) - Bank of Canada Senior Deputy Governor Carolyn Wilkins said the threat of a prolonged global trade war is the ``wild card'' to an economic recovery that still requires stimulative interest rates. Wilkins said future decisions on a policy rate, held at 1.75% on Wednesday, will focus on trade disputes, oil markets and domestic household spending. Canadian business activity is being held back by global trade fights and her own country's bilateral disputes with the U.S. and China.

  • 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.