HIGHLIGHTS OF THE WEEK – March 6
- Data released by the BEA showed personal income grew a touch stronger than the consensus forecast in February, rising by 0.4% m/m. Consumer spending was weaker though, with the headline measure posting only a modest increase of 0.1% m/m.
- The Conference Board’s Consumer Confidence index rose to 101.3 in March – its second highest reading since the recession – with gains entirely concentrated in the future expectations sub-component. Pending home sales also surprised to the upside in February, while the ISM manufacturing index pulled back to 51.5 in March.
- The trade deficit narrowed to $34.5B – its lowest reading since October 2009 – as imports declined by a whopping 4.4% m/m, while exports fell by a more muted 1.6% m/m. As a result, our current tracking has first quarter real GDP slipping to somewhere in around 1.0% (annualized).
- Bank of Canada Governor Poloz started the week by forecasting ‘atrocious’ economic growth in Canada in Q1. However, while January 2015 real GDP did contract, it was not as bad as forecasters had expected. This has set up Q1 for a weak, although certainly not ‘atrocious’, outcome.
- International trade data also surprised in February, as a surge in the price of energy exports led to a smaller trade deficit, while export volumes fell back.
- Finally, federal Finance Minister Joe Oliver closed out the week by announcing that the federal budget will be April 21st. Heading into the budget, the federal government has posted a $1.3 billion budget surplus between April 2014 and January 2015.
Manager, Residential Mortgages – Greater Ottawa Area TD Canada Trust
T: (613) 371-1984 F: (888) 899-1984 P: (866) 767-5446