Weekly Economic Update

For the week of March 9 to 13

StatisticsIn Canada this morning, Housing Starts have released at 156.3K for February, failing to meet expectations of 179.0K, falling from a revised value of 187.0K in the previous month. This drop of 16% brings the number of Housing Starts to the lowest level since 2009 as cold weather held up construction. It is quiet throughout the United States with only one release on the schedule later this morning. The Labor Market Conditions Index will update for February after releasing at 4.9 in the previous update.

Focus in Canada this week falls on the update to Employment scheduled for Friday, March 13. The Unemployment Rate is expected to increase slightly to 6.7% for February while the Net Change in Employment is forecast to fall slightly by 5.0K, following an increase of 35.4K in the most recent update. Headlines throughout the United States include updates to Wholesale Inventories, Retail Sales, the PPI, and Industrial Production. Wholesale Inventories are expected to fall by 0.1% for January while Retail Sales are forecast to post a gain of 0.3% for February.

In the currency markets, the Canadian dollar has shown strength in early trading this morning. The price of oil continues to fluctuate, once again trading below $50 per barrel. This week’s employment data will be a key indicator for the Bank of Canada as we move towards the next rate decision. Markets are currently not expecting another rate cut but it will take continued economic strength as well as an improving price of crude oil to shift the Bank of Canada to a more aggressive tone.

Todays expected range: 1.2535 – 1.2635

Source: Bloomberg

Posted by Concentra Financial Markets

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