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Weekly Commentary
The Hidden Truth in Unemployment Stats - Apr 17, 2014
By Peter G. Hall, Vice-President and Chief Economist, Export Development Canada
Have you seen the numbers lately? We should be celebrating in the streets! Recent economic performance has driven unemployment rates down to levels that many believed would not be seen for years to come. So why doesn't it feel that way? Is everyone missing the greatest development in the world economy in years, or is there some good reason for deferring the big party?
Decline in the unemployment rate has been no more dramatic than in the US. From late 2008 to mid-2009, the rate nearly doubled, from 5 per cent to just under 10 per cent, with risk scenarios seeing as much as 10.5 per cent. Since then, the unemployment rate has declined remarkably, currently at 6.7 per cent and on a decided downward trend. The speed of decline should have economy-watchers of all kinds and business planners alarmed about impending labour shortages. But they aren't.
The US isnít alone. Japan's pattern is very similar to America's, ...     More >>

Daily Update (Source: RBC Financial Group)
US existing home sales edged lower in March
Apr 22, 2014
- Existing home sales in the US edged downward by 0.2% to 4.59 million annualized units in March 2014 following a 0.4% drop in February. The March level of sales represented the lowest reading since July 2012 although was marginally above the 4.56 million units expected by the markets.
- The inventory of homes available for sale increased by 4.7% to 1.99 million units, thereby leading the monthís supply of unsold homes to rise to 5.2 months from 5.0 months in February.
- The median price of existing homes increased 7.9% from its year-ago level, thereby representing modest deceleration from the 8.7% pace in February and 10.1% pace in January.
- Unseasonably cold weather dampened an anticipated resurgence of housing market activity in the first quarter of 2014 after resales in the fourth quarter of 2013 unwound an earlier ....     More >>

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