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  • 2019-06-07 08:46

    By Greg Quinn

    OTTAWA (MNI) - Canada turned in a second straight blockbuster jobs report in May as the unemployment rate fell to a record low 5.4% and payrolls climbed again after a massive gain in April, data released Friday showed.

    The unemployment rate fell from 5.7% in April, the biggest monthly decline since April 2017, while employment climbed by 27,700 in May, following April's record increase of 106,500.

  • 2019-06-06 21:25

    TOKYO (MNI) - The Bank of Japan Friday increased the scale of its purchases of Japanese government bonds with a remaining life of 10 to 25 years to Y200 billion from Y160 billion.

    The increase followed the BOJ's decision of reducing the frequency of its purchases of super long-term bonds to three times from four times monthly.

    The scale of Y200 billion is the middle of a permissible range of Y100 billion to Y300 billion.

  • 2019-06-06 19:51

    --Japan Apr Average Wages -0.1% Y/Y, 4th Straight Drop; Mar -1.3%
    --Japan Apr Real Average Wages -1.1% Y/Y; Mar -1.9%
    --Japan Apr Base Wages +0.1% Y/Y, 1st Rise in 4 Months
    --Japan Apr Overtime Pay -1.1% Y/Y, 5th Straight Drop
    --Japan Apr Bonuses, Other Special Pay -3.2% Y/Y, Mar -9.4%

    TOKYO (MNI) - Japan's average wages fell 0.1% on year in April, the fourth straight year-on-year drop following a 1.3% decline in March, with real wages also in negative territory, preliminary data released Friday by the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare showed.

    The key points from the Monthly Labour Survey:

    --Total monthly average cash earnings per regular employee in Japan fell 0.1% on year to Y277,261 in April, the fourth straight year-on-year drop following a 1.3% fall in March

  • 2019-06-06 13:00

    By Jean Yung

    WASHINGTON (MNI) - With little room to cut interest rates should another crisis hit the U.S. economy, the Federal Reserve should reevaluate its strategies for hitting its 2% inflation target, New York Fed President John Williams said.

    "What can we do to prepare ourselves and our economies for the next crisis?" he said in remarks prepared for the Council on Foreign Relations in New York. "Starting with monetary policy, central banks should reassess their strategies, goals, and the tools they use to achieve them. This might include things like reassessing how we achieve our 2% goal."

    Inflation that's too low is "now a more pressing problem" following the financial crisis, he said, on the heels of a two-day Fed conference to reassess its policy framework.

  • 2019-06-06 11:48

    By Greg Quinn

    OTTAWA (MNI) - Canada's shrinking April trade deficit adds to evidence of faster economic growth in the second quarter, a boost that may not last amid signs the U.S. is escalating tensions with Mexico and China.

    Statistics Canada said the April deficit of C$966 million was the smallest in six months, and it also pared the March estimate to C$2.3 billion from C$3.2 billion. The economist consensus for April was for a C$2.8 billion shortfall.

    Here are some of the key takeaways from the data released Thursday:

    - The export rise of 1.3% was slower than March's 4.4% increase, and was led by a surprise jump in gold sales to overseas banks that will be hard to sustain in future reports.

  • 2019-06-05 07:00

    WASHINGTON (MNI) - The Mortgage Bankers Association Wednesday reported a further increase in mortgage activity in the May 31 week, with activity up 1.5% on a large decline in mortgage rates.

    Here are some of the key features of the report:

    - The Refinance Index rose by 6%, while the Purchase Index fell by 2% in the current week.

    - The 30-year average rate for a 30-year fixed mortgage fell further to 4.23% in the current week from 4.33% in the previous week, hitting its lowest point since January 2018.

    - The unadjusted purchasing index was up 0.5% from a year earlier.

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

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

  • 2019-06-04 10:00

    --New Orders Ex. Transportation Rise 0.3% On Nondurables Gain
    --Factory Inventories Up 0.3%; Business Inventories Tracking +0.5%

    WASHINGTON (MNI) - The value of new factory orders fell 0.8% in April, just above the 0.9% decrease expected by analysts in an MNI survey and the 1.0% decrease expected by the Bloomberg consensus, data released by the Commerce Department Tuesday morning showed.

    Durable goods orders were unrevised from the previously reported 2.1% increase. Nondurable goods orders rose 0.5% on increases in petroleum and coal, and tobacco and beverage products.

    Here are the key findings from the release:

    - Factory orders excluding transportation were up 0.3% in the month, the third straight gain of this size.

  • 2019-06-04 09:55

    By Jean Yung

    WASHINGTON (MNI) - The Federal Reserve is closely monitoring developments in trade negotiations and is prepared to act "as appropriate" to sustain the expansion, Fed Chair Jay Powell said Tuesday.

    His comments come on the heels of U.S. President Donald Trump's latest plans to impose tariffs on Mexican goods, which has roiled markets in the past week, setting off fears of prolonged trade wars and calls for the Fed to lower interest rates this year.

    "We do not know how or when these issues will be resolved. We are closely monitoring the implications of these developments for the U.S.

  • 2019-06-04 09:12

    By Greg Quinn

    OTTAWA (MNI) - Canada likely added even more jobs in May after a record increase in April as the economy kept growing.

    Employment probably climbed by 5,000 last month according to the median in an MNI survey of economists, following the April increase of 106,500 that was the best ever in Statistics Canada records.

    Modest job growth should be enough to keep the unemployment rate at 5.7% or to have a slight rise to 5.8%, according to economists. The jobless rate fell to a record low of 5.6% in November and remained there again in December.

    The job market has been one of the strongest parts of Canada's economy in recent years.

  • 2019-06-03 15:15

    By Jean Yung

    WASHINGTON (MNI) - The narrative on global trade has darkened in recent days, driving Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis President Jim Bullard's call for lowering interest rates soon, he told reporters Monday.

    "It's the global trade regime uncertainty," he said, adding he previously thought trade issues would get resolved over the medium term, but recent reports suggest "trade deals are not around the corner."

    He declined to give further details on how the Fed should loosen policy, including the timing and magnitude of rate cuts.

    "I'm anxious to see how my colleagues interpret the incoming data" at the June FOMC meeting, he said. "There is already a case on the table to cut because inflation is too low ...