Weekly Economic Update

For the week of March 18 – 22.

Important scheduled data releases for Canada this week include international securities transactions, wholesale trade sales, retail sales and consumer prices. January retail sales will be following a 0.1 percent drop from December, and consumer prices will follow January’s growth of 0.1 percent month-over-month. Releases like these will be followed closely by the Bank of Canada to help shape future decisions.

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Scheduled data releases for the United States this week include factory orders, durable goods orders, Markit US manufacturing PMI, existing home sales, and many others. A major focus this week will be the Federal Reserve’s policy meeting on Wednesday. Markets are pricing in a zero percent chance of an interest rate hike at this meeting.

Manufacturing sales in Canada grew by one percent on a month-over-month basis in January, more than twice the 0.4 percent growth predicted by economists. This release is a welcome one, as it ends a recent slide for the indicator (sales had dropped by a combined 2.9 percent in the last three months of 2018) and marks the largest jump in seven months. In terms of volumes, the measure actually grew by 1.4 percent for the same month. In terms of breadth, sales were up in 15 pf the 21 measured industries. The largest upside contributor was food manufacturing and the largest drag came from the aerospace category.

The Canadian dollar is currently trading up against the US dollar. Today’s expected range is 1.3273 – 1.3373.

Source: Bloomberg

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