Weekly Economic Update

For the week of May 29 – June 2.

Data this week will include releases for the raw materials price index, Canadian manufacturing, and international merchandise trade. These results are expected to release at 0.3 percent, 4.2 percent, and 2.9 percent.  In the United States we will see data for personal income and spending, ADP employment changes, ISM manufacturing, trade balance, and employment figures. Non-farm payrolls are expected to show that 185,000 new positions were added to the United States economy, decreasing from the 211,000 in April.

Annualized quarter-over-quarter US GDP came out stronger than expected in the second reading of the first quarter, posting at 1.2 percent. In addition to consumer spending, business spending increased as well.

Oil prices showed modest strength on Friday after being pushed significantly lower on Thursday upon the release of OPEC’s production cut extension. Thursday ended with pricing decreasing by nearly 5 percent, but regained approximately 1.84 percent to close the week out on Friday.

The Canadian dollar is trading relatively flat against the US dollar this morning. Today’s expected range is 1.3401 – 1.3501.

Source: Bloomberg

Weekly Economic Update

For the week of May 22 – 26.

It will be a slow week for data in Canada outside of the Bank of Canada’s May 24 rate announcement; the only notable release will be coming from wholesale trades and the CFIB business barometer. As of today the market interest rate sits very low at 2 percent. Despite little chance of movement, investors will be keen to hear members discuss their view of the Canadian economy. Releases out of the United States this week will consist of manufacturing PMI, new home sales, existing home sales, wholesale inventories, GDP, durable goods orders, and University of Michigan Sentiment.

As of this morning, oil is down by approximately 0.12 percent. As investors are eagerly awaiting Thursday’s OPEC meeting in Vienna, a failure to reach an agreement on an extension will follow a substantial fall in oil prices later this week. There has been further detail on the proposed cut extension. Countries such as Saudi Arabia, Russia, Iraq, and Mexico have confirmed that they would back a nine month extension.

Wholesale trade sales in Canada surpassed expectations in March, growing by 0.9 percent on a month-over-month-over-month basis instead of the expected 0.8 percent. In addition to expected growth for March, February’s growth was revised from -0.2 percent upward to 0.3 percent. Sales increased by 0.6 percent in volume terms. Inventories were down by 0.3 percent.

Today’s expected range is 1.3416 – 1.3516.

Source: Bloomberg

Weekly Economic Update

For the week of May 1-5

GDP figures released from both Canada and the United States on Friday were lower than expected. In Canada, month-over-month growth stalled in February, with zero percent growth compared to an expectation of 0.1 percent growth. This difference is significant compared to the previous month when growth was 0.6 percent. On a year-over-year basis growth has not exceeded expectations, despite an uptick to 2.5 percent. February’s decreasing of manufacturing (down 0.6 percent) and production has fueled disappointment. Annualized quarter-over-quarter GDP growth in the United States was released at 0.7 percent, dropping from 2.1 percent in the prior reading and short of the expected 1.0 percent.

University of Michigan Sentiment dropped in the United States for April to 97.0 from a prior posting of 98.0. American’s view of the current economic condition decreased slightly from 113.2 to 112.7, while expectations for the future jumped to 87 from 86.5.

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Oil prices received some positivity on Friday as Russia stated they’ve met their required production cuts amounting to 300 thousand barrels. Prices ended the day up by .74 percent, but are down by .55 percent as of Monday, May 1. The Canadian dollar is currently trading flat against the US dollar.

Releases expected out of Canada this week will include international merchandise trades and employment figures. Canada is expected to have added 10K positions in April after adding 19.4K positions in March. Releases out of the United States will be seen for ISM manufacturing, ADP employment changes, trade balance, and employment figures. The Federal Reserve will also hold a policy meeting where a decision is expected to be released on May 3.

Source: Bloomberg

Foreign Exchange Trading: Digital Solutions for Credit Unions

“Our members are educated and engaged in the online channel,” Reuben Schulz, SVP and CFO, Access Credit Union.

iStock_000079775461_LargeIn today’s dynamic and digitally evolving financial services environment, Canadians are doing more of their banking online. In fact, Canadians continue to interact with their financial institutions in new and different ways. Cheque deposits, managing investments, personal loans – convenient and competitive online delivery via a range of digital channels is now expected for these and other financial services. As a result, credit unions are embracing the trend and responding with a call to action.

For Access Credit Union, it simply made business sense to move the management and delivery of their foreign exchange services to an online platform. Their choice – Concentra FX, a digital solution that facilitates fast, secure and competitive foreign exchange trading services. Concentra offers online foreign exchange solutions for both the credit union and commercial members.

We recently spoke with Reuben Schulz, Senior Vice-President and Chief Financial Officer of Access Credit Union, and asked him to share their experience with Concentra FX.

“We were looking for a solution that would provide member retention and competitive advantage, as well as streamline our process internally,” explains Schulz. “Our members are educated and engaged in the online channel, and we want to meet their expectations and their needs.”

Using the Concentra FX online environment results in more efficient processes. With no need for multiple contacts to execute transactions and with same-day payments, Access Credit Union and their members benefit from convenience and value. “Some members like to trade at the end of the day. It is nice that there is no deadline on weekdays that they have to worry about (with the exception of Friday),” says Schulz. Whereas automated same day settlement helps to optimize cash balances and reduce back-end processing costs, resulting in high value creation for credit unions and commercial members.

Finally, we asked if Access Credit Union is happy with the service and solution? “We recommend it,” says Schulz.

With solutions credit unions can rely on, Concentra is a trusted partner to improve financial performance, diversify risk, and meet member needs.

Concentra FX:

  • Convenient way to trade
  • High value digital channel
  • Delivers on member needs

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Providing competitive FX solutions to credit unions is what we do.

Contact the Concentra FX team or 1-306-566-1747 for more information.

Heather Verkoczy
Manager, Foreign Exchange
Concentra