TD/ Canada Trust Economic Highlights – May 5

HIGHLIGHTS OF THE WEEK – May 5

United States

  • Soft readings on global economic activity in the first quarter extended to America this week. The advance estimate of Q1 real GDP showed that the economy grew only 0.2% annualized.
  • Unsurprisingly, the FOMC statement contained its share of dovish elements. Weakness in the first quarter was only partly attributed to temporary factors, while underutilization of labor, which previously had been viewed as diminishing, was now deemed to be unchanged.
  • Amidst otherwise dour economic news, there were some positive signs. The employment cost index showed wages and salaries growing 2.5% year-over-year in the first quarter, while personal spending data for March signalled a moderate rebound. While economic momentum remains far from robust, the U.S. economy is modestly picking up into the second quarter with further strength likely ahead.

 

Canada

  • Crude oil prices extended their uptrend this week, with the WTI benchmark reaching US$59 per barrel. We have revised our oil price forecast to reflect the recent uptrend in the market, but continue to expect some downward pressure on prices in the coming months.
  • Lower oil prices continued to leave their mark on Canadian economic data. Real GDP was flat in Febru­ary, slightly outperforming market expectations for a small negative print.
  • The CFIB Small Business Barometer showed a drop in business sentiment in April, with oil-rich Alberta and Saskatchewan remaining the least optimistic across the country.

For further information, please contact:

John Maveety Manager, Residential Mortgages – Greater Ottawa Area
TD Canada Trust T: (613) 371-1984 F: (888) 899-1984 P: (866) 767-5446

John.Maveety@td.com