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Weekly Commentary
Oil: Déjà-vu All Over Again? - Jan 22, 2015
By Peter G. Hall, Vice-President and Chief Economist, Export Development Canada
Wild stormy weather stops us in our tracks. Factories close. Offices are abandoned. School is cancelled. After the rush to stock up, stores are shuttered. And when the storm hits, it’s all we can think about – especially if the power goes out. It can seem like an eternity, and can obliterate any pre-storm memory. This sounds eerily similar to the oil price tempest we are in the middle of right now. Today’s price seems like the only reality, except that the plunge is still on. Are we going to survive this thing? Can we ever expect a return to calm?
Dial in to the news, and you’d be tempted to think not. It’s natural that storms bring about their own brand of myopia, but that’s when experience should make us wiser. And we all have a lot of that to draw on. We only have to rewind back to 2008 to see a very similar situation to today’s. Back then, oil prices slid from well over $100 per barrel at the peak to $40 at the trough, ...     More >>

Daily Update (Source: RBC Financial Group)
US surge in consumer confidence kicked off 2015, existing home prices rose in November, and new home sales jumped in December
Jan 27, 2015
- US consumer confidence surged by 9.8 points to a more than seven-year high of 102.9 in January 2015 from 93.1 in December 2014. Market expectations had been for a reading of 95.0.
- The current employment differential improved sharply to -5.2 in January 2015 from -10.1 in December 2014, as consumers were more sanguine about labour market conditions.
- Consumer confidence in the US kicked off the new year at its highest reading since August 2007 in January 2015 and marked a stark improvement compared to the 86.9 average recorded during 2014. The improved sentiment occurred against a backdrop of healthy labour market gains, multi-year low prices at the gas pumps, and an improvement in household balances sheets ....     More >>

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