Canadian prices, as measured by the Consumer Price Index (CPI), rose 4.7% on a year-over-year basis in November, matching the rate in October. On a month-over-month basis, the CPI was up 0.2% in November. The Bank of Canada's preferred measures of core inflation (which use techniques to strip out volatile elements) rose an average of 2.7% year-over-year in November. Higher prices for gasoline (+43.6%), furniture (+8.7%) and food (+4.4%) were the main drivers of growth in the headline CPI. Continuing supply-chain difficulties continued contributing to price gains, but the flooding in BC had no effect as data was collected prior to the floods in November. In BC, consumer prices were up 0.2% month-over-month, and up 3.3% on a year-over-year basis. 

Inflation continues to run ahead of the Bank of Canada's 2 per cent target. The driving force behind rising prices in November year-over-year was a 10% increase in transportation costs due to rising gasoline prices. Inflation from shelter costs was up month-over-month as home prices trended higher after flattening out over the summer. Those categories account for about 65% of the year-over-year rise in consumer prices in November. We expect this elevated level of inflation to persist through next year before prices begin moderating. The Bank of Canada is clearly concerned about rising consumer prices and have signaled that it will begin raising its policy rate in the second or third quarter of 2022.
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The Bank of Canada maintained its overnight rate at 0.25 per cent this morning, a level it considers its effective lower bound. The Bank reiterated what it calls "extraordinary forward guidance" in committing to leaving the overnight rate at 0.25 per cent until slack in the economy is absorbed and inflation sustainably returns to its 2 per cent target. The  Bank projects that will occur in the middle quarters of 2022. In the statement accompanying the decision, the Bank noted that recent economic indicators signal considerable momentum to end 2021, but the Omicron COVID-19 variant has injected renewed uncertainty into the global economy and flooding in British Columbia could weigh on growth in the short-term by compounding supply chain issues and reducing demand for some services. The Bank still expects inflation to ease back to its 2 per cent target by the second half of next year.

We expect the Bank will raise its overnight rate two times next year, followed by quarterly increases in 2023, bringing the overnight rate back to its pre-pandemic level by the end of 2023. It is possible that the Bank may act earlier or more aggressively next year, however the realities and uncertainties of the pandemic are still very much a presence in the global economy, particularly with the emergence of new COVID-19 variant. Consequently, it would not be surprising if the Bank of Canada had to delay its current expected schedule of rate increases.
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The Canadian economy grew at a 5.4 per cent annual rate in the third quarter, driven by strong spending by households and gains in exports. Households continue to be a strong engine of the recovery, with continued growth in spending on goods but also a welcome return to spending on services as that part of the economy re-opens. That spending was fueled by the largest growth in employee compensation since the year 2000 with wages rising close to 4 per cent in BC and over 3 per cent in both Alberta and Ontario. Strong wage growth and a sixth straight quarter of a double-digit household savings rate signals strong growth ahead for the Canadian economy.
 
That said, the global economic environment continues to be a confusing mix of booming demand, gummed-up supply chains and an ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.  While it appears that the Canadian economy is primed for strong growth, as a small open economy that growth very much depends on the smooth functioning of global supply and demand. As long as supply chains remain challenged, and a further challenge was just thrown their way by flooding across BC’s rail and highway network, growth will continue to be impeded. Fortunately, these are solvable issues that simply need time.  Even with choppy growth this year, the Canadian economy will expand close to 5 per cent in 2021 after contracting 5.3 per cent last year.  We forecast that the economy will enjoy strong growth in 2022, with real GDP growth of 4 per cent. That growth profile would put the economy on track to return to its potential by mid-2022, as projected by the Bank of Canada.
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Vancouver, BC – November 10, 2021. The British Columbia Real Estate Association (BCREA) reports that a total 9,593 residential unit sales were recorded by the Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®) in October 2021, a decrease of 13.7 per cent from October 2020. The average MLS® residential price in BC was $964,777, an 18.9 per cent increase from $811,307 recorded in October 2020. Total sales dollar volume was $9.3 billion, a 2.6 per cent decline from the same time last year.
“The story across the province continues to be the record low number of listings,” said BCREA Chief Economist Brendon Ogmundson. “Rising mortgage rates should start to temper sales activity next year, but even with a moderation in demand it will take quite some time for the inventory of homes to return to a healthy level.”

Total active residential listings were down nearly 40 per cent year-over-year in October, falling to an all-time record low for the province. Active listings have now fallen for five consecutive months on a seasonally adjusted basis.

Year-to-date, BC residential sales dollar volume is up 69.7 per cent to $99.6 billion compared to the same period in 2020. Residential unit sales were up 42.8 per cent to 108,798 units, while the average MLS® residential price was up 18.8 per cent to $915,833.
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Canadian employment grew for the fifth consecutive month in October according to Statistics Canada, inching up by 31,000 to 19.162 million (0.2%, m/m). Canadian employment had recovered to its pre-pandemic level in September and remains above that level in October. Since the prior survey period, proof-of-vaccination initiatives continued to be implemented in workforces across the country while capacity limits were lifted. 

Across Canada, employment gains in retail trade (+72,000) were offset by declines in accommodation and food services (-27,000). The gains in retail trade pushed employment in this sector back to its pre-pandemic level in October. The Canadian unemployment rate declined for a fifth consecutive month to 6.7%, the lowest level since the onset of the pandemic. The unemployment rate is now within 1% of the rate in February of 2020 (5.7%). 

In BC, employment grew by 10,400 to 2.692 million (0.39%, m/m), once again hitting the highest level since the pandemic began. The unemployment rate declined by 0.3 in October to 5.6%, the lowest level since the pandemic began. Only Manitoba has a lower unemployment rate in Canada, while Quebec is tied with BC for the second-lowest rate. 
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Canadian seasonally-adjusted retail sales rose 2.1% to $57.2 billion in August. The rise was driven by sales at food and beverage stores (4.8%), gasoline stations (3.8%), and clothing and clothing accessories stores (+3.9%). COVID restrictions were generally eased across the country in August. According to Statistics Canada's survey, just 0.6% of retailers were closed at some point in August. Preliminary estimates, based on roughly 54% of respondents reporting so far to the agency, indicate that retail sales declined 1.9% in September. 

In BC, sales rose 1% to a fresh record in August, erasing a drop in July. Compared to the same month last year, retail sales were up 8.6% in the province. Only food and beverage store sales, electronics and appliance sales, and health and personal care sales were not up on a year-over-year basis in August. In the Greater Vancouver region, sales rose 2.7% month-over-month and were up 16.2% year-over-year. 

In August, Canadian e-commerce sales rose from $2.8 billion to $3 billion. As a result, e-commerce increased from 4.6% of total retail sales in July to 4.9% in August. This percentage is lower than at most points since the onset of the pandemic but is elevated compared to pre-pandemic levels.
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Despite the reopening of retail outlets across the country as health restrictions eased, Canadian seasonally-adjusted retail sales declined 0.6% to $55.8 billion in July. The overall decline was driven by drops in sales at food and beverage stores (-3.4%) and building material and garden equipment and supplies dealers (-7.3%). According to Statistics Canada's survey, just 0.5% of retailers were closed at some point in July. Preliminary estimates, based on roughly 50% of respondents reporting so far to the agency, indicate that retail sales rose 2.1% in August. 

In BC, sales declined 1.2% after hitting record levels in the prior two consecutive months. Compared to the same month last year, retail sales were up 9.1% in the province. Only food and beverage store sales and health and personal care sales were not up on a year-over-year basis in July. In the Greater Vancouver region, sales dropped by 2.7% month-over-month, but were up 14.9% year-over-year. 

In July, Canadian e-commerce sales declined sharply from $3.9 billion to $2.9 billion dollars. As a result, e-commerce declined from 6.2% of total retail sales in June to 4.6% in July. This decline occurred as health restrictions eased across the country and Canadians shifted to brick-and-mortar retail. 
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Vancouver, BC – September 14, 2021.  The British Columbia Real Estate Association (BCREA) reports that a total 9,507 residential unit sales were recorded by the Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®) in August 2021, a decrease of 7.1 per cent over August 2020. The average MLS® residential price in BC was $901,712, a 17.2 per cent increase from $769,691 recorded in August 2020. Total sales dollar volume was $8.6 billion, an 8.9 per cent increase from last year.

“Home sales around the province have essentially returned to normal after a record setting spring,” said BCREA Chief Economist Brendon Ogmundson. “However, we continue to see a drought in the total supply of listings as well as downward trend in new listings activity.”

Total active residential listings were down 37.9 per cent year-over-year in August and were 42 per cent below normal levels for the month of August.

Year-to-date, BC residential sales dollar volume was up 102.2 per cent to $82 billion, compared with the same period in 2020. Residential unit sales were up 67.8 per cent to 89,980 units, while the average MLS® residential price was up 20.5 per cent to $911,245.
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Canadian employment grew for the third consecutive month in August, rising by 90,000 to 18.97 million (0.5%, m/m). Most Canadian jurisdictions had fully implemented public health reopening plans by the time Statistics Canada conducted surveys, while tourists from the United States were allowed to enter Canada without quarantining for the first time since the pandemic began. As a result, Statistics Canada is reporting positive employment figures for the month across most indicators. Canadian employment is now -0.8% (-156k) below its February 2020 pre-pandemic level, the highest level since the onset of the pandemic.

In August, Canadian employment growth was driven by gains in the private sector and the services sector, especially in food & accommodation and information, culture and recreation sectors. Gains were broadly distributed across demographic groups. The Canadian unemployment rate declined by 0.4 to 7.1%, the lowest level since the onset of the pandemic. 

In BC, employment grew by 14,400 to 2.67 million (0.5%, m/m), once again hitting the highest level since the pandemic began. For the third consecutive month, British Columbia was the sole province with employment above its pre-pandemic level. The unemployment rate declined by 0.4 in August to 6.2%, the lowest level since the pandemic began. BC has the third lowest unemployment rate in Canada, following Manitoba and Quebec.
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The Bank of Canada maintained its overnight rate at 0.25 per cent this morning, a level it considers its effective lower bound. The Bank reiterated what it calls "extraordinary forward guidance" in committing to leaving the overnight rate at 0.25 per cent until slack in the economy is absorbed and inflation sustainably returns to its 2 per cent target. The  Bank projects that will not occur until the second half of 2022. The Bank is also continuing its quantitative easing (QE) program, purchasing $2 billion of Government of Canada bonds per week. In the statement accompanying the decision, the Bank noted that the the supply-chain disruptions and the pull-back in housing market activity that caused an unexpectedly weak second quarter of GDP growth were likely one-time issues and stronger growth should prevail over the second half of the year.

While inflation continues to run ahead of the Bank of Canada's 2 per cent target, the driving force behind rising prices is still isolated to a few categories of spending. In particular, the rising price of gasoline and the run-up in Canadian home prices since last year.  Home prices in Canada are beginning to flatten out, which should mean a fading impact on inflation over the next year. Likewise, the impact of gas prices should continue to decline as base-year effects have less influence.  Other issues putting upward pressure on consumer prices are being driven by bottlenecks and supply shortages – which are issues that monetary policy cannot address. Higher interest rates may stifle demand, but they do not fix microchip shortages.

We expect the Bank of Canada will proceed with caution, especially given the fourth wave of COVID. The unexpected contraction of GDP in the second quarter may push the closing of the output gap out by one or two quarters. That likely means a new time-line for the Bank to raise its policy rate with the earliest increase coming in mid-2023.
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As health restrictions eased, Canadian retail sales rose 4.2% m/m to $56.2 billion on a seasonally-adjusted basis in June. Due to declines in April and May, sales remained 3.5% below the March peak. Sales rose in 8 of 11 retail sectors measured by Statistics Canada, with the largest gains occurring in clothing sales (+49.1%), caused by loosening restrictions on non-essential retail. In June, 5.2% of Canadian retailers reported being closed for at least one business day, down from 5.6% in May. Statistics Canada's preliminary retail sales estimate for July, based on just 38% of respondents reporting, is for a 1.7% decline.

In BC, seasonally-adjusted retail sales were largely flat, rising just 0.2% m/m but nonetheless hitting a provincial record for a second consecutive month in June. BC retail sales were up by 12.6% compared to the same month last year. In metro Vancouver, sales were up 1.6% while in the rest of the province sales declined 1%. 

In June, Canadian e-commerce sales declined 10.6% as consumers switched to brick-and-mortar retail. E-commerce accounted for 5.8% of total retail sales in June, down from 7% in May.
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Vancouver, BC – August 17, 2021 The British Columbia Real Estate Association (BCREA) released its 2021 Third Quarter Housing Forecast Update today.

Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®) residential sales in the province are forecast to rise 26 per cent to 118,350 units this year, after recording 94,007 sales in 2020. In 2022, MLS®residential sales are forecast to pull back 15 per cent to 100,150 units.  

“The pace of home sales in the province has slowed in recent months but an unprecedented start to the year still has BC on track for a record-breaking year,” said Brendon Ogmundson, BCREA Chief Economist.

With strong demand being supported by low mortgage rates and a rapidly rebounding post-COVID economy, the more significant concern is whether there will be an adequate supply of listings in the market. The supply situation is especially severe in markets outside the Lower Mainland, where new listings activity has been lackluster. As a result, the average price in 2021 is on track to post a second consecutive year of double-digit gains. We are forecasting the provincial average price to rise 16.6 per cent to $911,300 this year, followed by a 2.9 per cent gain next year to $937,300.

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Canadian prices, as measured by the Consumer Price Index (CPI), rose 3.7% on a year-over-year basis in July, hitting the highest rate since prior to the pandemic. Overall, the upward bias of "base-year effects" are no longer substantially influencing the year-over-year CPI changes, although they still have an effect on certain subcomponents such as gasoline. On a seasonally adjusted month-over-month basis, the CPI was up 0.5% in July. The Bank of Canada's preferred measures of core inflation (which use techniques to strip out volatile elements) rose an average of 2.5% year-over-year in July. In BC, consumer prices were up 0.7% month-over-month, and up 3.1% on a year-over-year basis in July. The homeowner replacement cost index, which measures the cost of replacing home structures, rose 13.8% year over year in July, which was the fastest rate since the 1980s. Related costs, such as commissions on the sale of real estate, also rose strongly in July. Prices of passenger vehicles rose 5.5% year-over-year in July due to the continuing challenges related to semiconductor chip supply chains. 

While inflation is currently running higher than the Bank of Canada's 2 per cent target, many economists expect this elevated rate of price increases to be transitory as economies emerge from the pandemic and supply chains normalize. Base-year effects from falling prices during the early months of the pandemic had exaggerated year-over-year changes in CPI, but these effects have now largely ended. The rate of inflation as measured by CPI is very important for the Bank of Canada's monetary policy stance over the next year. If higher inflation is not transitory but instead the result of an over-stimulated economy, the central bank could act to raise interest rates sooner than expected. However, if the uptick in inflation fades in the coming months, we expect the Bank will stay its current course.
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Most Canadian provinces substantially lifted public health restrictions in the first half of July. As a result, Statistics Canada is reporting positive employment figures for the month across most indicators. Canadian employment rose by 94,000 in June (0.5%, m/m) to 18.88 million, following growth of 231,000 in June. This growth brings employment to the highest level since the onset of the pandemic. Canadian employment is now -1.3% (-246k) below its February 2020 pre-pandemic level. In July, growth was driven by gains in the private sector, the food & accommodation sector, among youth aged 15-24, and among prime working-age women. Other positive indicators included gains in hours worked (+1.3%) and a decline in the number of people working less than half their usual hours (-10.1%). The unemployment rate also declined by 0.3 to 7.5%. 

In BC, both total employment and the unemployment rate were largely unchanged from June. The province maintains one of the strongest labour markets in the country, with only Quebec reporting a lower unemployment rate for July. For the second consecutive month, BC remains the sole province with employment above its pre-pandemic level.
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The Bank of Canada maintained its overnight rate at 0.25 per cent this morning, a level it considers its effective lower bound. The Bank reiterated what it calls "extraordinary forward guidance" in committing to leaving the overnight rate at 0.25 per cent until slack in the economy is absorbed and inflation sustainably returns to its 2 per cent target. The Bank projects that will not occur until the second half of 2022.  The Bank announced that it is adjusting its quantitative easing (QE) program down to purchasing $2 billion per week Government of Canada bonds per week. In the statement accompanying the decision, the Bank noted that it expects a strong pick-up in economic growth over the second half of the year as vaccinations progress and restrictions are lifted.  The Bank expects growth of close to 6 per cent this year, followed by 4.5 per cent growth in 2022.

As we hopefully approach the end of the COVID-19 pandemic, the issue of inflation has arisen as the most hotly debated topic among economists and analysts.  Specifically, whether current elevated inflation of around 3.5 per cent is a sign of accelerating prices or merely the transitory effect of supply constraints brought on by the pandemic.  The Bank of Canada is firmly on the side of believing higher than normal inflation is a temporary phenomenon. In today's announcement, the Bank noted that base-year effects, meaning we are comparing prices in a recovered economy now to one in which prices were falling amidst a severe recession one year ago, rising gasoline prices and pandemic related bottlenecks in supply chains account for most of the increase in inflation.  The Bank expects inflation to remain above 3 per cent through the remainder of this year before easing back toward its 2 per cent target in 2022.  Given that outlook, and uncertainty surrounding timing of when the economy may be fully back to normal, the Bank seems to be on a path to raising its policy rate between the end of 2022 and early 2023.
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British Columbia Real Estate Association (BCREA) reports that a total of 11,070 residential unit sales were recorded by the Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®) in June 2021, an increase of 34.7 per cent over June 2020. The average MLS® residential price in BC was $910,445, a 22.2 per cent increase from $745,194 recorded in June 2020. Total sales dollar volume was $10.1 billion, a 64.6 per cent increase from last year.

“As expected, housing market activity is calming to start the second half of 2021,” said BCREA Chief Economist Brendon Ogmundson. “That said, while down from record highs earlier this year, home sales across the province remain well above long-run average levels"

Total active residential listings were down 23.4 per cent year-over-year in June and continued to fall on a monthly seasonally adjusted basis.

Year-to-date, BC residential sales dollar volume was up 161.6 per cent to $64.7 billion, compared with the same period in 2020. Residential unit sales were up 114.3 per cent to 70,690 units, while the average MLS® residential price was up 22.1 per cent to $915,563.
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Canadian employment grew by 231,000 jobs in June (1.2%, m/m) to 18.79 million, led by a 264,000 rise in the number of part-time jobs (offsetting a small decline in the number of full-time jobs). This growth brings employment back to nearly the levels in March, prior to two consecutive months of decline amid third-wave restrictions. The level of Canadian employment is now -1.8% (-340k) below its February 2020 pre-pandemic level. Ontario and other provinces eased third-wave restrictions in June. As a result, the industries driving growth in June across Canada were in accommodation & food services (+101k) and retail trade (+75k). The unemployment rate declined 0.4% to 7.8%.

In BC, employment rose by 42,000 (+1.6% m/m), following declines in April and May. The unemployment rate fell slightly from 7.0% to 6.6%, driven by growth in part-time work and the food & accommodation sector (+19k). BC is the lone province with employment above its pre-pandemic level. 
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The Canadian economy contracted for the first time in 12 months in April as monthly real GDP fell 0.3 per cent due to restrictions put in place to contain the third wave of COVID-19. The largest declines were felt in high-touch services sector industries like retail trade and food services.  Output of the real estate sector also dipped in April, though coming off a record month of sales in March.

Many sectors are currently dealing with the complexities of recovering from a pandemic that has produced significant shortages of materials and labour. As a result, there is an adjustment process underway, highlighted by rapidly rising costs, as businesses scramble to recover back to pre-pandemic levels of production and service. That process will continue to create some ups and downs as the economy moves into a post-pandemic environment but the overall trend in the economy is overwhelmingly positive. Statistics Canada estimates that strong growth resumed in May and we anticipate the Canadian economy will expand at a 6 per cent rate this year.  The same is true of the BC economy, where we are tracking economic growth for 2021 at 6.2 per cent.
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Canadian retail sales decreased 5.7% m/m to $54.8 billion on a seasonally-adjusted basis in April. This was the largest monthly decline since April of last year. Sales declined in 9 of 11 sub-sectors, with the largest declines in clothing and general merchandise. Excluding the more volatile sectors like motor-vehicles and gasoline sales, retail sales were down 7.6% in April. Drops in sales were driven by third wave restrictions implemented across the country in April. One in twenty Canadian retailers were closed for at least one business day in April due to lockdowns.  

In BC, seasonally-adjusted retail sales declined just 0.2% m/m as COVID-19 cases peaked in the middle of April. Retail sales rose 0.7% m/m in Metro Vancouver. On a non-seasonally adjusted basis, BC retail sales were up by 47% compared to the same time last year.   

In April, Canadian e-commerce sales were up 58.7% year-over-year to $4 billion. E-commerce accounted for 7% of total retail sales, up from 6.6% in March. In April of last year, in the midst of the first wave, e-commerce accounted for 10.2% of retail sales. 
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Canadian inflation, as measured by the Consumer Price Index (CPI), rose to 3.6% year-over-year in May, up from 3.4% in April. This is the highest level since May of 2011. Much of the increase in inflation was the result of base-year effects, as prices remained depressed in May of last year due to pandemic-induced shutdowns. On a seasonally adjusted month-over-month basis, the CPI was up 0.5% in May. The Bank of Canada's preferred measures of core inflation (which strip out volatile elements) rose an average of 0.2% from April, to 2.3% year-over-year. In BC, consumer prices were unchanged month-over-month and down from 3% year-over-year in April to 2.7% year-over-year in May.

While inflation is currently running higher than the Bank of Canada's 2 per cent target, much of the increase looks to be temporary and is likely to fade as base-year effects become less significant in coming months. Base-year effects are now beginning to fall out of the inflation statistics, as April was the CPI's nadir last year. How inflation evolves over the next 3 to 6 months will be very important for the stance of monetary policy over the next year. If higher inflation is not just a temporary phenomenon but is being driven by an over-stimulated economy, than we could see the Bank of Canada act on interest rates prior to 2023. However, if the uptick in inflation starts to fade in coming months, we expect the Bank will stay its current course.
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US Real GDP Growth (Q4'2016) - January 27, 2017


US real GDP growth registered a weaker than expected 1.9 per cent growth the final quarter of 2016, and 1.6 per cent growth for the year as a whole.  Growth was pulled lower by a widening US trade deficit, while consumer demand and business investment were robust. Most economists expect US economic growth to accelerate to about 2.2 per cent in 2017.

The pace of economic growth in the United States could be a key determinant in the BC housing market this year. While faster US growth is generally positive for the BC economy, a stronger pace of growth along with a possibly significant shift in the fiscal outlook due to the large tax cuts and ramped-up spending plans of the Trump administration, is already translating to rising long-term interest rates as markets anticipate higher inflation and consequent monetary tightening by the US Federal Reserve. In turn, that uptrend in rates is putting pressure on Canadian mortgage rates, with many lenders increasing their best offered rates. 

 

Copyright British Columbia Real Estate Association. Reprinted with permission.



Canadian Retail Sales - January 20, 2017


Canadian retail sales inched 0.2 per cent higher in November.  Sales were higher in just 5 of 11 sub-sectors, with motor vehicle and parts dealers and building materials supplies leading the way.  E-commerce sales accounted for 3 per cent of total retail sales, the highest proportion to date in 2016.  Given today's data,  we are currently tracking fourth quarter Canadian real GDP growth at 1.5 per cent. 

In BC, retail sales were down 0.7 per cent on a monthly basis, but were 5.5 per cent higher year-over-year.  Year-to-date, retail sales in the province are up 6.5 per cent. 


Copyright British Columbia Real Estate Association. Reprinted with permission.


Canadian Manufacturing Sales - January 19, 2017


Canadian manufacturing sales rose 1.5 per cent in November after posting a moderate decline the previous month.  Sales were higher in 14 of 21 manufacturing sub-sectors. After adjusting for inflation, the total volume of sales was 1.2 per cent higher. 

In BC, where the manufacturing sector is a significant employer and a key driver of economic growth, sales were up 2.4 per cent on a monthly basis and 9.2 per cent year-over-year. The manufacturing sector has been on a significant upswing after a slow first half with sales posting nearly 8 per cent growth over the second half of the year. That growth is adding to already strong momentum in other sectors and supporting housing demand across BC communities where manufacturing, particularly of forestry products, is an important driver of local economic activity. 


Copyright British Columbia Real Estate Association. Reprinted with permission.


Bank of Canada Interest Rate Announcement - January 18, 2017


The Bank of Canada announced this morning that it is holding the target for its overnight rate at 0.5 per cent. In the press release accompanying the decision, the Bank noted that uncertainty in the global outlook, particularly with regard to policies in the United States, is undiminished. The Canadian economy is forecast to grow 2.1 per cent in both 2017 and 2018, implying the Canadian economy will return to full capacity in mid-2018.  On inflation, the Bank noted that it continued to be lower than expected but should return to it 2 per cent target in coming months.

Political uncertainty in the United States will likely govern the direction of both policy rates and long-term bond yields over the next year. The interest rate on 5-year government of Canada bonds has risen to its highest point in a year, which is adding upward pressure to mortgage rates offered by Canadian lenders.  While the Canadian economy is forecast to post steady growth in 2017, overall slack in the Canadian economy remains persistent.  Without a significant uptick in economic growth, inflation will likely continue to trend at or below the Bank's 2 per cent target.  That, along with lingering uncertainty, will keep the Bank sidelined through 2017 with a chance of lowering its target rate should current downside risks to the economy become realized.


Copyright British Columbia Real Estate Association. Reprinted with permission.

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