HIGHLIGHTS OF THE WEEK – March 17
• Disappointing trade data from China briefly reignited concerns about global growth. Exports slumped by 25.4% y/y in February in U.S. dollar terms, marking the largest decline since May 2009. Imports also fared poorly, falling by a larger than expected 13.8% y/y.
• Policymakers continued to take steps to prop up economic growth and inflation. The ECB unleashed a powerful monetary policy stimulus package. While the measures exceeded market expectations, the euro and bond yields ended the week higher following press-conference comments from the ECB president Mario Draghi.
• The FOMC meeting next week is expected to be less contentious. The Fed is expected to hold interest rates unchanged. However, improved data flow and labor market strength should enable the Fed to maintain its gradual tightening bias.
• The housing market continues to be a key driver of the Canadian economy, with housing starts bouncing back above the 200,000 mark in February.
• Employment was essentially flat in February, as a 34,000 increase in construction jobs was offset by widespread declines in services sector employment. The unemployment rate ticked up to 7.3%.
• The household debt-to-income ratio rose to a record 168% in the fourth quarter of 2015; however low interest charges have allowed the cost of carrying debt to grow more in line with income.
• The Bank of Canada left the overnight rate unchanged at 0.5%, as economic growth is evolving largely in line with its January projections.
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