Economy stumbles for second month in a row
p GDP output slid by 0.1% in August, defying expectations for a move into the plus column. Slumping manufacturing, wholesale trade and oil and gas activity weighed down output in the month.
p The economy pared back the number of employed by 43,200 in October — the first decline in employment in three months. However, because of job gains in August and September, there was a net gain of 14,500 positions during the three-month period.
p Retail sales recorded a second monthly increase of 1% in September; sales were up an even stronger 1.2% on a volumes basis following a 0.5% rise in volumes in August. This augurs well for a positive GDP report for September.
p Housing starts rose 5.4% in October to an annualized level of 157,300 . The rise re-established the upward trend that had prevailed through August, with starts steadily rising from a cyclical trough in April of 118,500.
p The merchandise trade deficit was cut in half in September to C$0.9 billion from C$2 billion in August. The improvement was almost solely the result of a 3.5% jump in exports; imports were relatively steady, dropping a marginal 0.1%.
p The headline inflation rate emerged from a four-month period of negative readings in October as the deflationary pressures coming from movements in the energy component of the CPI dissipated.
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A. Mark Argentino
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