Latest Economic News From The U.S. & Canada
- Based on the decline in oil prices, the Canadian government cut its growth estimates for 2015. The government now expects the economy to expand by 2 percent this year as opposed to 2.6 percent.
- The Canadian economy added 28,700 jobs in March. The gain in employment came entirely from the part-time sector, however. (Employers created 56,800 part-time jobs, but cut 28,200 full-time positions.) Manufacturers shed 2,400 jobs and Canada’s unemployment rate in March was 6.8 percent.
- The number of Americans who filed for federal unemployment benefits rose to 281,000 for the week that ended April 4 from 267,000 the week before. The four-week moving average of first-time claims dipped slightly, however, to its lowest level since June 2000. The number of Americans who continued to receive benefits also dropped, to 2.304 million for the week that ended March 28 from 2.327 million the week before. The continuing claims number was at its lowest level since December 2000. Finally, the four-week moving average of continuing claims dropped to its lowest level since January 2001. The U.S. Department of Labor also announced last week that there were also 5.1 million jobs open in the U.S. in February, the highest level in 14 years.
- Wholesale sales in the U.S. fell 0.2 percent from January 2015 to February 2015 and were down 1.5 percent between February 2014 and February 2015. Sales of durable good were down 2.4 percent for the month and 3.5 percent for the year. Inventories increased 0.3 percent between January and February and were up 6.1 percent year-over-year. The inventory-to-sales ratio increased to 1.29 in February 2015 from 1.2 the year before.
- U.S. import prices (http://www.bls.gov/news.release/ximpim.nr0.htm) fell 0.3 percent in March while export prices rose 0.1 percent. The rise in import prices was the first since last June.