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Weekly Commentary
US: Building Backlog - Mar 26, 2015
By Peter G. Hall, Vice-President and Chief Economist, Export Development Canada
Here’s a crisis for you. I know, we’ve all had enough crises over the past 7 years to last a lifetime. But this is a crisis of a different sort. Growth has taken America by surprise, firing up idled equipment, gobbling up vacated floor space and creating a capacity crunch. Long-buried expansion plans have been resurrected, and it looks like a boom is in the works. Is this just isolated to some segment or region of the US economy, or is it a more generalized, pan-economy movement?
Cynics can be forgiven for a bit of disbelief. From peak levels in 2008, private non-residential construction plunged 34 per cent by early 2010 – and that wasn’t yet the lowest point. Growth resumed in 2011, but fizzled by the end of 2012. It has been a long climb, and even with recent growth, investment in structures is still only 85 per cent of those 2008 peak levels. It is a segment of the economy that has perhaps endured the greatest battering, and one ...     More >>

Daily Update (Source: RBC Financial Group)
US February consumer spending inches higher
Mar 30, 2015
- Nominal personal consumer expenditure in February 2015 managed to eke out a 0.1% gain following a 0.2% drop in January.
- On a volumes basis, spending in February dropped by 0.1%, thus retracing a portion of the 0.2% gain recorded in January.
- Personal income in February rose by a stronger 0.4%, which contributed to the savings rate jumping to 5.8% from 5.5% in January.
- The level of real personal consumer expenditure (PCE) during February and January points to consumer spending in the first quarter of 2015 rising at an annualized 2.2%. This would represent a halving of the growth rate from the 4.4% surge recorded in the fourth quarter of 2014, with severe winter weather conditions including heavy snowfalls and below-average ....     More >>

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