Weekly Economic Update

471920189Throughout Canada this morning, International Securities Transactions have released at 5.73B for January, higher than the expected value of -2.00B. International investors bought record levels of provincial debt in January causing today’s data to release higher than expected. Later today, the Bloomberg Nanos Confidence Index will update for the week ending March 13, 2015 after hitting 54.2 in the previous update, the highest level since early February. In the United States, Empire Manufacturing has fallen to 6.9 for March, failing to meet economist forecasts of 8.00. Later this morning, Industrial Production is expected to post a gain of 0.2% for February, matching the gain from the previous update.

Focus this week throughout Canada falls on the update to the Consumer Price Index and Retails Sales scheduled to release Friday, March 20. The CPI is expected to post a month over month gain of 0.7% for February and 1.0% y/y. Retail Sales are forecast to fall by 0.5% for January following a drop of 2.0% in the latest release. In the U.S. focus shifts to the FOMC rate decision scheduled for Wednesday, March 18. Analysts are expecting the rate to remain unchanged although we may see a more aggressive Federal Reserve, indicating a potential rate increase sometime later in 2015. Also on the schedule this week, Housing Starts are expected to post a drop of 2.4% for February after falling by 2.0% in the previous month.

In the currency markets, the Canadian dollar has fallen slightly against the USD in trading this morning. Oil continues to be a key risk to the Canadian dollar, now trading below $45 dollars per barrel which has weighed on the CAD significantly. Focus will fall on the Federal Reserve announcement this week. If we see a more aggressive tone from the U.S. central bank, the CAD could fall even further against the USD.

Todays expected range: 1.2732 – 1.2832

Source: Bloomberg

Posted by Concentra Financial Markets

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