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Michelle Coates Mortgage Professional

Michelle Coates

Mortgage Professional


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Box 3133, Spruce Grove, Alberta

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TD Economic Report: Canadian Highlights

3/25/2024

Central bankers took the stage this week, but it was Canadian economic data that stole the show. A significant improvement in inflation for February and a weak reading on retail sales increased expectations for an earlier cut by the Bank of Canada (BoC). Adding to this was the release of the BoC’s March deliberations that confirmed the Bank is preparing to cut rates later this year. While the exact timing of the first rate cut is still uncertain, market pricing has rallied around June/July, matching expectations on timing for other major central banks.

The inflation reading this week showed a meaningful deceleration, with the headline measure remaining within the BoC 1% to 3% target band. But the big surprise was the heavy discounting on items like clothing, cell phone /internet plans, and food. For the latter, that was the first contraction in three years (seasonally adjusted)! As Deputy Governor Toni Gravelle said at a speech later in the week, this was “very encouraging”.

What was even more promising was the progress on the BoC’s preferred inflation metrics. While these have remained stubbornly high over the last few months, they too have started to ease and now sit just above the 3% band. These metrics are starting to follow other measures of inflation lower, including the Bank’s old preferred inflation measure, CPIX. This index excludes the eight most volatile inflation items such as mortgage interest costs. Importantly, this measure has now reached the BoC’s 2% target.

Source: TD Economics https://economics.td.com/ca-weekly-bottom-line

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