Economy flatlines in JulyGDP output stalled in July, disappointing forecasts for a 0.5% monthly increase. However, despite July's disappointing result, the spurt in manufacturing sales will likely be sufficient to see Canada's economy record a modest increase
in the third quarter.Strong job gains and a fall in the unemployment rate in September indicate improvement in labour market conditions and support our view that the economy is emerging from recession.Retail sales disappointed in July, falling 0.6% after a 1.1% rise in both May and June, but the healthy retail sales gains in May and June represented a sharp turnaround from the lacklustre sales from February to April and resulted in sales
being up 2% at an annualized rate at the start of the third quarter.Housing starts were stronger than expected in September at an annualized 150,100 (market expectations 148,000). Although this was a 4.6% decline from 157,300 in August, housing starts are still up from a recent trough in April of 118,500.The merchandise trade balance for August deteriorated to C$2 billion from a C$1.3 billion deficit in July. Upward pressure on imports and downward pressure on exports will likely result in net trade acting as a drag on economic growth through next year.The headline CPI was flat in August and the year-over-year rate stayed in deflationary territory, rounding out three months of negative prints. The Bank of Canada’s core measure, which is reflection of underlying price pressures, continued to trend down and, at 1.6% year-over-year, was the lowest since July 2008.
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A. Mark Argentino
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