Weekly Economic Update

For the week of April 23 – 27

Canadian headline inflation increased 2.3 percent year-over-year in March, which was 0.1 percent lower than consensus expectations but 0.1 percent higher than February’s figure. The average of the core measures came in at 2.00 percent, just shy of the 2.03 percent recorded in February. On a monthly basis, headline inflation was up 0.3 percent. The largest upside contributor to the monthly figure was the recreation and education category, adding 0.22 percentage points while the largest downside contributor was the household operations category, subtracting 0.22 percentage points.

Canadian retail sales matched consensus expectations in February, increasing 0.4 percent month-over-month to $49.8 billion. However, excluding autos, sales were flat to January’s figures with the new car dealers category driving sales for the month of February, contributing 0.39 percentage points to overall sales which happen to be the largest upside contributor to overall retail sales. The largest downside contributor was the gas stations categories, subtracting 0.10 percentages points. Of the 11 subsectors of retail sales tracked by Statistics Canada, four experienced an increase. These four categories represent 47 percent of all retail trade.

Scheduled data releases this week for Canada will be very light. The only major scheduled release this week is the February wholesale trade sales figure. Consensus expectations are for sales to increase by 0.7 percent after January’s 0.1 percent increase. There will be a lot more data releases in the US. Scheduled releases include housing figures, manufacturing numbers, sentiment gauges and GDP. The first print of first quarter GDP is expected to come in at an annualized rate of 2.0 percent, down from the final print of fourth quarter GDP of 2.9 percent.

The Canadian dollar is down a bit more against the US dollar from Friday’s market close. The loonie is down about a cent from Friday morning after Canadian CPI figures came in slightly lower than forecast. Today’s expected trading range is 1.2730 – 1.2830.

Source: Bloomberg

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