Sunday, June 10, 2007

A Review of Canadian Economic Statistics

Certainly an increase in farm income will be welcome given the increased costs of production especially fuel. The strong dollar does not seem to have had much overall effect on exports according to these figures. The building boom seems to be subsiding. Even Alberta seems to be slowing.

A review of economic statistics in Canada this week
Canadian Press
Published: Sunday, June 10, 2007
OTTAWA (CP) - A review of economic statistics this week:

Farm commodity prices rise

****Prices farmers received for their commodities rose 9.4 per cent in March from the same month a year earlier, as most crop, livestock and animal product prices increased. Crop prices were 17.9 per cent higher in March than they were a year earlier, according to the Farm Product Price Index. Prices for the overall livestock and animal product index rose 4.1 per cent in March, as gains were made in all commodities except eggs.


Building permits decline

The total value of building permits declined in April as construction intentions fell in both the residential and non-residential sectors, as well as in every province except Nova Scotia. Contractors took out permits worth $5.6 billion, down 8.4 per cent from March.


Employment up

A strong influx of students into jobs helped keep Canada's unemployment rate at a 33-year low of 6.1 per cent in May. The number of people with jobs in May rose slightly by 9,300. The gain would have been higher if not for a drop of 23,400 part-time jobs, offset by an increase of 32,700 in full-time employment. For the first five months of this year, employment rose by one per cent as 162,000 new jobs were created, slightly below the 1.3 per cent rise in employment in the same period last year.


New home construction increases

Housing starts were running at 229,700 units at a seasonally adjusted annual rate in May, up from 211,900 in April. Total starts were down an estimated 3.8 per cent in the first five months of 2007 compared with a year earlier, pulled down by an 11.7 per cent decline in urban single-family home construction.

The May number exceeded market expectations of 215,000, boosted by a 16.3 per cent rise in urban multiple-unit starts while single-family starts grew 2.8 per cent.


Merchandise trade surplus up

Canada's merchandise trade surplus was $5.8 billion in April, up from $5.1 billion in March as imports declined while exports showed little change. The surplus exceeded financial-market expectations by $1 billion, offering support to the Canadian dollar. Exports edged down 0.3 per cent to $40.7 billion from a revised $40.8 billion in March. Imports fell 2.2 per cent to $34.9 billion.

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