HIGHLIGHTS OF THE WEEK – March 24
- While geopolitical tensions between Russia and Ukraine dominated the headlines last week, this week, a busy economic data calendar combined with a Fed announcement and Fed Chair Janet Yellen’s first post-meeting press conference helped bring the market’s focus back to domestic economic developments.
- Housing starts edged modestly lower in February, falling to 907k (annualized) units, while permits pushed back above the 1 million mark. Existing home sales declined by 0.4%, falling to 4.6 million units.
- As was widely anticipated, the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) left the fed funds rate unchanged at 0.25%, and announced that it will continue to reduce the pace of asset purchases by additional $10B (to $55B) in April. The Committee also modified its language surrounding the forward guidance statement by removing the economic thresholds in favor of a more qualitative assessment.
- The Canadian existing home market continued to show signs of a soft landing. Home sales were up 0.3% in February and 1.9% from year ago levels. Despite being in balanced market territory, national average existing prices were up 10.1% from year ago levels.
- Manufacturing sales grew by 1.5% in January, the fastest pace registered since February 2013. Sales were also up in real terms by 0.7%.
- Canadian retail sales surged by 1.3% in January. Seven of the eleven subsectors recorded gains. The monthly showing follows December’s winter-induced plunge of 1.8%.
- The headline consumer price index rose by 1.1% y/y in February. The Bank of Canada’s core measure (which excludes the eight most volatile components) rose 1.2%.
For further information, please contact:
John Maveety Manager, Residential Mortgages – Greater Ottawa Area
TD Canada Trust T: (613) 371-1984 F: (888) 899-1984 P: (866) 767-5446