HIGHLIGHTS OF THE WEEK – May 6
- Wednesday’s release of the first estimate of real GDP growth in Q1 showed that the winter left a bigger dent than expected, with economic growth basically stalling in the first quarter of 2014 at 0.1% (saar).
- Fortunately, other data out this week offered plenty of fresh signs that economic activity quickened at the end of Q1 and into the spring. Auto sales remained robust, while manufacturing sector performance and consumer spending exceeded expectations. The star of this week’s economic calendar – the payrolls report – helped to cement the theme of improvement with 288k new jobs created in April.
- Meanwhile, on the international arena there are no signs of easing of the crisis in Ukraine. The standoff between NATO nations and Russia continues, with the U.S. releasing a fresh batch of targeted sections earlier this week. Ukraine, meanwhile, began a military offensive against pro-Russian protesters in the eastern city of Sloviansk, drawing sharp criticism from the Russian government.
- The Canadian economy followed through on the January rebound in real GDP (+0.5%) with a decent 0.2% increase in February. The economy grew at a 2.5% pace year-on-year in February, a slight downshift from the near 3% rate that prevailed before the economy was hit by severe winter weather in December.
- Ontario released its budget and expects to post an $11.3 billion deficit (1.6% of GDP) in fiscal 2013-14, slightly lower than the $11.7 billion shortfall projected in last year’s budget. The document was heavy on new measures for both spending and revenue. A return to black ink is still planned for 2017-18.
- Next week’s agenda is filled with top tier
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