Blogs & Comment

Some Bad News and Some Good News

Statistics Canada publishes a summary of its leading statistics on a regular basis. The news is not good. Almost everything on this list shows that we are worse off than a year ago. Some of the largest swings are new motor vehicle sales with an annual 22.6% decline and employment insurance beneficiaries which registered a rise of 21.3% in one year. However, all these numbers are in the past, and represent what happened. There are some good indicators that things may be on the edge of turning around. The TSE has shown an 11% rise so far in March 2009. And although this only represents three weeks of activity, stock exchanges usually rally ahead of an economic recovery. Copper prices have risen 18% during March adding to gains earlier in 2009. This commodity is often called Dr. Copper because its price tends to be a harbinger of future economic conditions.
GDP (chained, 2002) -1.20% Leading indicator (1992=100) -3.10% Enterprises Operating Profits -4.70% Capacity utilization rate -6.50% Retail trade -5.80% New motor vehicle sales -22.60% Wholesale trade -5.20% Employment -1.20% Unemployment rate 1.80% Participation rate (%) -0.50% Average weekly earnings 2.70% Regular EI beneficiaries 21.30% Merchandise exports -18.20% Merchandise imports -8.30% Merchandise trade balance -4.00% Manufacturing Sales -15.00% New orders -19.70% Unfilled orders 14.50% CPI (2002=100) 1.40% Industrial Product Index 1.20% Raw Materials Index -31.60% New Housing Index -0.80%