Canadian employment numbers are the key piece of economic data today. The figures for April show a net increase of 12,500 jobs with the unemployment rate holding steady at 7.2%.
The Canadian economy generated 36,000 new, full-time jobs last month – mainly in the public sector – while shedding almost 24,000 part-time positions. The numbers matched expectations for a modest improvement over the loss of 54,500 jobs in March.
North America markets traded higher in the early going today. They appeared to take a breather yesterday, all trading down and ending the day lower after several days of record high closes.
Bond yields are up by 1 – 3 bps.
National Residential Market Commentary
Real estate market is balanced
The latest reports from both the Canadian Real Estate Association and Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation agree that, despite the recent sense of turmoil, the country’s real estate market is balanced.
The March report from CREA points to the ratio of sales to new listings. It recognizes that sales are down but points out they have been steady since the introduction of new mortgage rules last summer and have been keeping pace with new listings. The sales-to-new-listing ratio was just a few basis-points off 50% for both February and March with about 60% of local markets falling into balanced territory.
The 1st quarter report from CMHC backs up the CREA numbers. It notes that balanced conditions have persisted since 2010, with a slight bias in favour of sellers. The Corporation sees that bias shifting as new listings are increasing slightly faster than sales.
Commercial Bond Yields
Canada Mortgage Bond
Canada Housing 06/15/18*: 1.56%
Cadada Housing 12/15/18*: 1.63%
Canada Housing 09/15/23*: 2.23%
* denotes interpolated rate
Select Government of Canada Bonds
CAN 4.25 06/01/18: 1.20%
CAN 1.50 06/01/23: 1.71%
GOC Bonds are for reference purposes only
First National Floating Insured Cost of Funds
Bank Prime Rate
1 Year: 3.00%
2 Year: 3.04%
3 Year: 3.55%
4 Year: 4.54%
5 Year: 5.14%
The latest jobs numbers out of the U.S. significantly beat expectations. April’s non-farm payroll figure jumped by 165,000 beating the 150,000 forecast. The unemployment rate has dropped to 7.5%, its lowest level in four years. Today’s report also posted substantial upward revisions for March and February.
Markets are being buoyed by the report. North American equities all opened higher today.
Bond yields are up 2 – 3 bps.
Also out of the U.S. today:
The ISM service sector index came up short of expectations, printing at 53.1 for April. That’s down from 54.5 in March and missing the 54 forecast. And U.S. factory orders dropped 4% in March. Aircraft led the decline. But orders for non-defence capital goods, excluding aircraft, rose 0.9%, indicating an uptick in plans for business spending.