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Weekly Commentary
High-Wire Act, Euro-Style - May 21, 2015
By Peter G. Hall, Vice-President and Chief Economist, Export Development Canada
Among recent synonyms for slow, Europe’s economy ranks close to the top. Beset by a plethora of deep structural strictures, Europe-watchers wonder that there has been any growth at all, and that its latest brushes with recession have not brought it down. It has put to severe test a zone known through history for its irreconcilable schisms. Some openly doubted the mega-economy’s ability to withstand its first recession. So far, it has outlasted a very severe one, although it is not yet out of the woods. Will the Euro area outlast its manifold structural challenges, or is the single market, as we know it, still at risk?
There is a long list of irritants. Close to the top would be slow growth itself. The OECDs projection for annual growth potential is a skinny 1 per cent, against over 2 per cent in the US. The battle for a share of this wealthy but sluggish market is bound to keep intra-regional trade a hot issue. Weak overall ...     More >>

Daily Update (Source: RBC Financial Group)
Canadian retail sales up 0.7% in March
May 22, 2015
- Canadian retail sales rose 0.7% in March, building on a 1.5% (was 1.7%) increase in February that followed large declines of 1.4% and 1.8% in January and December, respectively. Market expectations were for a 0.3% increase in March.
- Controlling for the impact of prices, the volume of retail sales inched up 0.1%, following a 1.0% (was 1.3%) increase in February and a 0.6% decline in January.
- Regionally, nominal sales rose in six provinces, led by a 1.5% jump in Ontario, where sales are now up almost 6% from a year ago, and a 1.0% increase in Quebec. Sales in Alberta rose 1.1% to build on a 1.0% increase in February that followed four consecutive monthly declines. ....     More >>

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