Weekly Economic Update

For the week of May 7 – 11.

The US economy added 164k jobs in April,  increasing from March’s figure of 135k. Although average hourly earnings increased 0.1 percent from March and 2.6 percent from a year earlier, the earnings were lower than expected. The unemployment rate was also lower than expected, falling to 3.9 percent from the 4.1 percent posted in March. This is the first time the unemployment rate has fallen below 4 percent since 2000.

According to the Ivey Purchasing Managers Index, business activity in Canada picked up in April. April’s monthly index on business activity rose to 71.5 from 59.8 in March, dictating that business numbers improved more than they’ve deteriorated. With April’s release, this would push the 3 month average to 63.6, up from 58.2 in March.

Scheduled economic data releases in Canada this week include housing starts, building permits, the new house pricing index, and the employment report. After increasing 32.3k in March, hiring is expected to have slowed in April to 19.6k. The unemployment rate is expected to remain unchanged at 5.8 percent. Major releases in the US this week include PPI, CPI, the import price index and the University of Michigan Sentiment gauge. After an unexpected monthly decline of 0.1 percent in March, CPI is expected to rebound in April at a 0.3 percent pace.

The Canadian dollar is trading slightly down from Friday’s market close. Today’s expected trading range is 1.284 – 1.294.

Source: Bloomberg

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