Weekly Economic Update

For the week of March 28 to April 1

Revisions to the United States GDP released on Friday brought growth levels for the fourth quarter to 1.4 percent from a previous estimate of 1.0 percent. Although this is still a decline from third quarter growth of 2.0 percent it is still very much a positive. Much of the revision was due to an increase in personal consumption expenditures. Once again, this revision provides more footing for the Federal Reserve to raise interest rates in the not-so-distant future, although chances still remain at approximately 6 and 38 percent for a rate hike at the next two rate decision meetings in April and June.

iStock_000010139178_LargeOil prices are trading slightly up, but relatively flat this morning. As of now, prices are up approximately 1.12 percent to $39.90 per barrel. After showing weekly gains for two straight months, the loonie finally gave back some of its strength last week. The Canadian dollar fell by approximately 2 percent through last week. However, the Canadian dollar is trading up slightly against its United States counterpart early this morning on increasing oil prices. Todays expected range is 1.3170 – 1.3270.

Recent attacks and continued unrest in Brussels have been increasing investors’ fears of the upcoming Brexit decision. Many are looking at this attack as the result of relaxed immigration rules in the European Union, and will look at it as one more possible reason for Britain to exit.

Coming up this week, Fed Chair Janet Yellen will be speaking on monetary policy and the economy tomorrow. Markets will be looking for any direction on the Feds plans for the upcoming April rate decision as the non-committal March meeting left them wanting more insight. Data releases expected this week include Nonfarm Payrolls out of the United States and GDP numbers out of Canada. Nonfarm Payrolls for the month of March are expected to post at 210k, down from 242k a month prior. The unemployment rate is expected to remain unchanged at 4.9 percent. GDP in Canada is expected to have grown by 0.3 percent in January, slightly higher than December’s growth of 0.2 percent.

Source: Bloomberg

Posted by Concentra Financial Markets

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