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Weekly Commentary
Surprise of the Year: Only one? - Dec 18, 2014
By Peter G. Hall, Vice-President and Chief Economist, Export Development Canada
Six years beyond the onset of global crisis, and the lamentation seems louder: pundits are increasingly perplexed by the planet’s prolonged period of perpetual perturbations. We’re living through a period replete with surprises – weather issues, political upsets, conflict, disease, economic turbulence, and so on. In fact, a huge surprise these days would be a year of no surprises. This too has been a year marked by what others have referred to as ‘serial disappointments’ – and the occasional upside. So, does anything stand out in 2014 as an ‘out of the blue’ development?
For the world’s top economy, things began badly. Weather fouled the stats leading up to the New Year, and things got worse in the winter months. It cost the economy over 2 per cent of GDP – but there was a huge sigh of relief as activity roared back by 4.6 per cent in the second quarter and 3.9 per cent in the third. There’s little sign of a let-up in the final ...     More >>

Daily Update (Source: RBC Financial Group)
Canadian October retail sales hold steady in the month
Dec 19, 2014
- Nominal retail sales in October 2014 were unchanged in the month following an outsized 0.8% jump in September.
- Sales in October were restrained by activity at motor vehicle dealerships dropping by 0.6% in the month and gas station receipts falling by 1.1%.
- Excluding the auto and gasoline station components, so called core sales rose by a solid 0.4% after a 0.1% rise in September.
- On a volumes basis, overall retail sales in October were unchanged following a 0.9% surge in September. The volume of retail sales in October remaining unchanged is on the surface disappointing, although it needs to be read in conjunction with the massive jump in sales in September. That earlier increase along with the expectation that monthly retail sales volumes will ....     More >>

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