North America

  • 2020-07-14 09:37

    --CPI +0.6% yoy; Core CPI +1.2% yoy
    --Energy +5.1%; Food +0.6%

    WASHINGTON (MNI) - The U.S. consumer price index rose by a stronger-than-expected 0.6% in June as gasoline and apparel prices surged, offsetting weakness in used vehicle prices, the Bureau of Labor Statistics said Tuesday. It was the first price rise since the Covid-19 pandemic hit in March and reflects a restart of economic activity in many parts of the country last month.

    Energy prices rose for the first time since December, increasing by 5.1%, the largest single-month gain in more than a decade.

  • 2020-07-13 18:37

    By Greg Quinn

    SAN FRANCISCO (MNI) - Following are highlights of the San Francisco "FedViews" report published Monday:

    Thomas M. Mertens, vice president at the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, stated his views on the current economy and the outlook as of July 9, 2020.

    *Gross domestic product fell by 5% at an annualized rate during the first quarter of 2020, and we expect a substantially larger decline in the second quarter.

    *Barring a major second wave of infections, the U.S. economy should start its recovery during the second half of the year. But it will likely take a few years until the U.S. economy has fully caught up with its potential.

  • 2020-07-13 15:49

    --Dallas Chief Raises Unemployment Forecast Amid Covid Outbreak

    WASHINGTON (MNI) - Dallas Fed leader Robert Kaplan said Monday that emergency 13(3) programs should not be pulled back while unemployment is elevated and the nation struggles with increased Covid-19 cases.

    With a majority of the Fed's emergency 13(3) programs set to sunset in late September, Kaplan will look at the employment rate and other labor market indicators when determining whether he will support their extension.

    "I would not be an advocate of prematurely withdrawing these programs.

  • 2020-07-13 15:10

    --Liberal Government Needs Opposition Support to Stay in Power

    OTTAWA (MNI) - Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Monday his decision to approve a CAD900 million contract for a youth charity was a mistake because of his family's financial ties to the organization, his first major comments on an issue that endangers the stability of his minority government.

    Trudeau said he should have stayed out of any consideration of a contract for the WE Charity that was recommended by public servants.

  • 2020-07-13 11:05

    By Evan Ryser

    WASHINGTON (MNI) - U.S. consumer views of job security showed improvement in June as perceptions of income and job finding ticked up and expectations of missing debt payments declined in the New York Federal Reserve's latest consumer survey.

    Consumer views of losing one's job in the next 12 months declined 3.6pp to 15.0% in June, the lowest value since reaching 13.8% in February, according to the survey.

    High unemployment expectations for one year from now fell to 35.1% in June, from 38.9% in May and 50.9% in March. The current reading is now just above the February level of 34.2%.

  • 2020-07-10 14:14

    By Greg Quinn

    OTTAWA (MNI) - The Bank of Canada's balance sheet was little changed at a record CAD529 billion this week as gains in federal bonds and bills were mostly offset by a reduced stock of corporate repos, an imbalance likely to continue with the government projecting a CAD343 billion deficit.

    Federal bond holdings climbed to CAD173 billion from CAD167 billion, faster than the minimum CAD5 billion a week the BOC has pledged to acquire until the economic recovery is well underway. Canadian t-bill assets rose to CAD136 billion from CAD130 billion.

    Holdings of repos fell to CAD195 billion from CAD205 billion, the lowest since May 13 and down from a peak of CAD211 billion about a month ago.

  • 2020-07-10 07:30

    By Greg Quinn

    (MNI) - Governments must keep fiscal stimulus going through the recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic, while making hard choices about ending support for industries like airlines and fossil fuels facing a long-term reduction in demand, the IMF said Friday.

    "Fiscal policy will need to remain supportive and flexible until a safe and durable exit from the crisis is secured," Fiscal Affairs Director Vitor Gaspar and Research Director Gita Gopinath wrote in a blog post.

    "It will be necessary to facilitate the transfer of resources from sectors that may permanently shrink, such as air travel, to sectors that will be expanding, such as digital services. Support should move from maintaining jobs to supporting people as they retrain or relocate across sectors.

  • 2020-07-09 12:00

    By Greg Quinn and Brooke Migdon

    WASHINGTON (MNI) - Congress should extend fiscal stimulus as damage from Covid-19 lingers while the Federal Reserve should be ready with forward guidance and expanded QE if the economy weakens further, the OECD said Thursday.

    The banking system also faces risks if stimulus is withdrawn and there is a surge in bankruptcies from highly leveraged companies, the Paris-based group said in an annual review of the world's largest economy.

    "A sharp fiscal retrenchment would be counter-productive and as such the temporary provisions in the recent tax reform should not be allowed to expire. Furthermore, automatic stabilizers and additional measures implemented as part of the crisis reaction should be allowed to play out," the OECD report said.

  • 2020-07-08 16:56

    By Brooke Migdon

    WASHINGTON (MNI) - More than one-third of U.S. households anticipate a loss in employment income in the next four weeks, led by deteriorating sentiment in the South and West following an uptick in Covid-19 cases that is triggering new businesses shutdowns.

    Approximately 35% of households expect to lose sources of income in the latest Census Bureau Household Pulse Survey, reflecting data from 250 million households across the U.S. from June 25-30.

  • 2020-07-08 14:11

    By Greg Quinn

    OTTAWA (MNI) - Following are highlights of Canadian Finance Minister Bill Morneau's speech to Parliament to deliver a fiscal snapshot Wednesday:

    Through rapid and broad support, our government has been able to protect millions of jobs, provide emergency income support to families, and help keep businesses afloat during the worst of the storm.

    This support is helping Canadians get back on their feet, and has prevented long term damage. But this pandemic is not over and we cannot let up on our commitment to one other.

    Forecasts are always uncertain. So with this Snapshot, we are providing our best prediction of the economic situation in Canada to the end of the current fiscal year, to March 31st, 2021.