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  • 2019-06-19 08:30

    By Greg Quinn

    OTTAWA (MNI) - Canada's inflation rate quickened for a fourth month to +2.4% in May and a measure of core prices was the fastest since 2009, surprise gains that may pressure the central bank to add a hawkish note to its next rate decision.

    The consumer price index gain was faster than the +2.2% MNI consensus forecast, and on a monthly basis the +0.4% rise was also faster than the expected +0.2%. The Bank of Canada's trim core inflation rate accelerated to +2.3% from +2.0%, making May the fastest pace since March 2009.

    The report is a rare upside surprise after years of inflation generally lagging expectations, and prices accelerated across six of eight major categories in Statistics Canada's report Wednesday.

  • 2019-06-19 07:00

    WASHINGTON (MNI) - The Mortgage Bankers Association Wednesday reported a pull back in mortgage activity after a surged in the previous week, with activity down 3.4% on a slight rebound in mortgage rates.

    Here are some of the key features of the report:

    - The Refinance Index fell by 4%, as did the Purchase Index.

    - The 30-year average rate for a 30-year fixed mortgage ticked up to 4.14% in the current week after falling to 4.12% in the previous week.

    - The unadjusted purchasing index was up 4% from a year earlier.

    --MNI Washington Bureau; tel: +1 202-371-2121; email:

    [TOPICS: MAUDS$,M$U$$$,MK$$$$,M$$MO$]

  • 2019-06-19 04:46

    By Les Commons and Laurie Laird

    LONDON (MNI) - Consumer price inflation slipped back to sit in line with the Bank of England's 2.0 target in May, although an extended decline in core inflation could stir some frank discussion amongst members of the Bank's Monetary Policy Committee.

    - Consumer price inflation declined to an annual rate of 2.0% in May, in line with the MNI median and Bank of England staff forecasts.

  • 2019-06-19 01:02

    TOKYO (MNI) - The yield on the 10-year Japanese government bonds fell to -0.155% on Wednesday, down two and half basis point from Tuesday's close, hitting the lowest level since August 2016, when it fell to a record low -0.19%.

    The Bank of Japan is unlikely to reduce the scale of its purchases of long-term JGBs in the near future, as it will look to prevent the 10-year bond yield from falling out of the -0.20% to +0.20% range the BOJ unofficially tolerates.

    BOJ officials in charge of daily operations focus on the four features; speed, level, volatility and background behind rate moves.

    If the drop in bond yields was rapid and it wasn't consistent with overseas moves, the BOJ would try to restrict the drop in JGB yields, but the recent drop is in line with overseas m

  • 2019-06-18 22:30

    TOKYO (MNI) - The Bank of Japan's June quarter Tankan survey, due July 1, will show a drop in sentiment among many business sectors from three months ago, as trade friction and heightened uncertainties over the global outlook continue to weigh, economists said.

    The Tankan will show that both major and smaller companies revised capital investment plans higher, although implementation may be delayed.


    The median economist forecast for the diffusion index (DI) for sentiment among major manufacturers is +10, down from +12 in March, for the second straight drop, with forecasts ranging from +7 to +11.

    Economists said that companies, especially major manufacturers, are seeing lower exports caused by the slowing Chinese economy and weak capit

  • 2019-06-17 21:55

    TOKYO (MNI) - The BOJ is closely watching how overseas developments affect Japan's economy and prices and will take appropriate policy action as needed, Bank of Japan Governor Haruhiko Kuroda said Tuesday.

    "Downside risks to the global economy are big on the back of the trade friction between the U.S. and China, and the (sluggish) Chinese economy," Kuroda told lawmakers.

    "We are closely watching how developments of overseas economies affect (our) economy and prices, including the momentum toward hitting the 2% price target, and will take appropriate policy," Kuroda said.

    However, the governor didn't elaborate on how or what kinds of policy the BOJ would take if risks materialize.

  • 2019-06-17 14:30

    By Greg Quinn

    OTTAWA (MNI) - The Bank of Canada will continue allowing the country's dollar to float after a 2021 review of its monetary policy framework, Deputy Governor Larry Schembri said.

    "Canada and and many other open economies have been well-served by a market-determined flexible exchange rate," Schembri said Monday. The speech didn't give an outlook for the BOC's policy interest rate of 1.75% ahead of the next decision due July 10.

    Canada was one of the first nations to adopt a formal inflation target in 1991 and hasn't intervened in currency markets in two decades.

  • 2019-06-17 06:42

    By Greg Quinn

    OTTAWA (MNI) - This week will provide one of the best looks at the health of Canadian consumer spending before the July 10 BOC interest-rate decision.

    Friday brings Statistics Canada's report on retail sales for April, the start of the second quarter. Consumer spending including big-ticket items like cars was one of the only bright spots for the economy in the first quarter.

    Consumer price inflation for May is due Wednesday from Statistics Canada. Core prices have held around the BOC's 2% target for a while now, suggesting little pressure to raise or lower rates in the near term.

  • 2019-06-13 08:42

    By Greg Quinn

    OTTAWA (MNI) - Canadian household debt held close to a record high when compared with disposable income in the first quarter, government figures showed.

    Credit-market debt such as mortgages was 177.6% of after-tax income, unchanged from the fourth quarter of last year. The ratio was a record 178.3% in the third quarter of 2018, according to Statistics Canada figures published Thursday.

    The Bank of Canada has warned that a record buildup of consumer debts through a housing boom in Toronto and Vancouver remains a vulnerability even after governments introduced rules to curb riskier borrowing.

  • 2019-06-13 08:30

    By Greg Quinn

    OTTAWA (MNI) - Canadian new home prices were unchanged for a third month in April, as declines in Toronto were matched with gains in other parts of the province of Ontario.

    Toronto prices fell 0.1% on the month in Statistics Canada's new home price index published Thursday. In Vancouver, the other city that has drawn concern about a potential housing correction, prices declined 0.2%.

    Prices were flat or declined in 19 of 27 cities in the report. Gains in Ontario cities such as Ottawa and London helped keep the overall index steady.

    The index rose 0.1% in April from a year ago.