Weekly Economic Update

For the week of March 2 to 6

iStock_000020482237_LargeIn Canada this morning, the Current Account Balance is expected to release at -$12.5B for the fourth quarter compared to -$8.4B in the previous release. The RBC Canadian Manufacturing PMI will update for February after falling to 51.0 in the first month of January 2015. In the United States, Personal Income is expected to post an increase of 0.4% for January following a gain of 0.3% in the most recent announcement. Spending is forecast to decrease slightly by 0.1% for December after a drop of 0.3% from December 2014. Later this morning, Construction Spending is expected to post an increase of 0.3% for January, following a gain of 0.4% in the most recent update. Also on the schedule, ISM Manufacturing is forecast to fall slightly to 53.0 for February, down from 53.5 in January.

Headlines throughout Canada this week include an update to GDP scheduled for Tuesday March 3 followed by the Bank of Canada Rate Decision on March 4. GDP is forecast to rise by 0.2% for December, compared to a drop of 0.2% in the previous month. Economists are now calling for the Bank of Canada Rate to remain at 0.75% despite initial forecasts calling for another rate cut, down to 0.50%. In the United States, focus falls on the payroll data scheduled to release on Friday. Nonfarm Payrolls are expected to increase by 235K while the Unemployment Rate is expected to fall slightly to 5.6%.

In the currency markets, the Canadian dollar has shown strength against its U.S. counterpart in early trading today. This week, Canadian dollar trading will revolve around the key economic data releases out of Canada and the United States and the Bank of Canada Rate announcement. The price of oil continues to trade below $50 per barrel which could lead to a more dovish announcement from Governor Poloz. Following this week, attention will shift to the next rate announcement from the Federal Reserve, scheduled for March 18, 2015.

Todays expected range: 1.2455 – 1.2555

Source: Bloomberg

Posted by Concentra Financial Markets

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