Weekly Economic Update

For the week of March 12 – 16.

After losing 88.0k jobs in January, the Canadian economy added 15.4k jobs in February, which was less than consensus expectations of a 21.0k increase. Full-time employment decreased 39.3k after gaining 49.0k the previous month, while part-time employment increased 54.7k after a 137.0k plunge in January. The unemployment rate also decreased to 5.8 percent from 5.9 percent. Wages measured by average hourly earnings for permanent employees decreased to 3.1 percent year-over-year from 3.3 percent.

Non-farm payrolls in the US economy surged past expectations with a 313k gain versus consensus expectations of a 205k increase, also surpassing January’s upward revised 239k gain. The unemployment rate remained at 4.1 percent; however, consensus expectations were for a 0.1 percent decrease to 4.0 percent. Average hourly earnings also came in lower than expected and slowed from January’s downward revised pace of 2.8 percent year-over-year. Earnings growth came in at a pace of 2.6 percent, lower than the expected increase of 2.8 percent. February’s equity markets retreated, while bond yields surged.

Teranet/National Bank will release their house price index tomorrow, and existing home sales on Wednesday. Manufacturing sales and international securities transactions will cap off the week.

Scheduled releases in the US include CPI, retail sales, various manufacturing data, trade data, housing starts and building permits, and the first print of the University of Michigan’s March sentiment index.

The Canadian dollar is trading similarly to Friday’s market closing levels. Today’s expected trading range is 1.2783 – 1.2883.

Source: Bloomberg

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