Bank of Canada wary of European recession
December 06, 2011
Despite the recession in Europe predicted to be more "pronounced" than previously expected, the Bank of Canada froze its overnight interest rates for the 15th straight month.
The rate will remain at 1 percent, even though the financial institution noted that "additional measures would be required to contain the European crisis."
In addition, the Canadian dollar strengthened over the past six weeks since the institution released its quarterly forecast. What was once C$1.02 is now C$1.0113 (98.88 U.S. cents).
"In a sense you see that there's a somewhat better tone and what's important is that this better economic tone is also coming from our most important trading partner," said Stefane Marion, chief economist at National Bank Financial in Montreal, as quoted by Reuters.
Increased business optimism and a quicker pace of economic expansion was seen in the recently released Ivey Purchasing Managers Index. It climbed to its highest level in the past six months, reaching 59.9 in November - up 5.5 points from 54.4 in October, CNBC reports. This, despite industry analysts' predictions that the index would rise a mere 0.6 points to 55.0
According to the news source, any figure above 50.0 indicates industry expansion, while anything below represents contradiction.
Other findings included a decline in the Employment Index from 51.4 in October to 49.4 in November, a rise in the Prices Paid Index from 63.9 to 68.1 over the same period, while the Deliveries Index increased to 44.8 from 43.3 in the previous month, DailyFX reports.
Construction activity was also optimistic according to Reuters, with an unexpected jump of 11.9 percent from October to November, indicating strong construction activity in the coming quarters.
Heightened consumer spending and business investments have spurred recent U.S. growth, although "household deleveraging, fiscal consolidation and negative spillover effects from the European crisis" are expected to hinder any legitimate progress.
In all, economic indicators point to second half growth being slightly stronger than originally projected in October, even though "the weaker external outlook is expected to dampen GDP growth in Canada through financial, confidence and trade channel," and challenges remain to keep the Canadian dollar stable.