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Weekly Commentary
China’s Devaluation: Opportunistic or Overdue? - Aug 27, 2015
By Peter G. Hall, Vice-President and Chief Economist, Export Development Canada
Just in case you were getting too comfy at the cottage, China offered up a summer storm: a one-two gut-punch of currency devaluation. What has followed is a wave of reaction that has still not settled down, and a lot of speculation as to China’s rationale for the move. Opinions are varied. Was this a competitive devaluation, aimed at shoring up an ailing domestic economy by boosting trade? Or was it just time for a RMB reality check?
One thing’s for sure, it took the world by surprise. Few if any saw a change to the relatively stable path the RMB has taken since early 2014. Thus, the 1.9 per cent drop against the USD on August 11 and the further 1.6 per cent the following day, the largest swing since August 2005, rocked markets. The speed was perhaps more shocking than the actual amount of movement, but the real jolt was the departure from a steady and predictable currency management program which had been ...     More >>

Daily Update (Source: RBC Financial Group)
Canadian current account deficit narrowed to $17.4 billion in Q2
Aug 31, 2015
- Canada’s current account narrowed to $17.4 billion in the second quarter of 2015 from a revised $18.1 billion shortfall (was $17.5 billion) in the first quarter. Markets had expected a $17.0 billion second-quarter deficit ahead of the report.
- The improvement in the second quarter of 2015 in part reflected a $0.3 billion improvement in the merchandise trade balance (flagged by the earlier-reported monthly trade data during the quarter), along with a $0.2 billion improvement in the services balance and a $0.2 billion narrowing in the investment deficit.
- The current account deficit remained high at around 3.5% of gross domestic product (GDP) in the second quarter (based on RBC’s current forecast for second-quarter GDP with actual second-quarter numbers to be ....     More >>

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