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October 11, 2015

Latest Economic News From The U.S. & Canada

  • The International Monetary Fund (IMF) released updated growth estimates for the world economy and individual countries last week. The IMF now expects the Canadian economy to grow just one percent in 2015, a reading that is down from the previous estimate (released in July) of 1.5 percent. The IMF said it expects 2016 growth in Canada to total 1.7 percent, down from the 2.1 percent estimate released in July. The IMF boosted its 2015 estimate for the United States to 2.6 percent from 2.5 percent, but lowered its 2016 estimate to 2.8 percent from 3.1 percent. The IMF expects global growth to total 3.1 percent in 2015, a reading that, if correct, would be the lowest global growth rate since 2009. The IMF also reduced its global outlook for 2016 to 3.6 percent growth from 3.8 percent.
  • The U.S. trade deficit increased to $48.3 billion in August from $41.8 billion in July and exports declined by $3.7 billion and imports rose by $2.8 billion. The goods deficit increased to $67.9 billion in August from $61.3 billion the previous month. The overall trade deficit rose by $17.6 billion between August 2014 and August 2015.
  • The Canadian trade deficit expanded to $2.5 billion in August from $817 million in July. Analysts had expected the trade deficit to come in around $1.2 billion. While a continuing decline in oil prices contributed heavily to the more negative reading, overall exports were down 3.6 percent from July to August and imports increased 0.2 percent.
  • According to the U.S. Department of Labor, 263,000 individuals filed for federal unemployment benefits during the week of Oct. 3, down from 276,000 the week before. The four-week moving average of first-time claims also fell, but the number of individuals who continued to receive federal jobless benefits increased. That figure rose to 2.204 million for the week that ended Sept. 26 from 2.195 million the week before. The four-week moving average of continuing claims fell.
  • Wholesale sales in the United States fell by one percent between July and August and were down 4.7 percent between August 2014 and August 2015. Inventories rose 0.1 percent for the month and were up 4.1 percent year-over-year while the inventory-to-sales ratio increased to 1.31 in August 2015 from 1.2 in August 2014.