Economic Weakness Persists In Canada’s Inflation And Retail Data

by MR Magazine Staff

Canada’s economy gave no sign of a quick exit from its current soft patch, with data released Friday showing a benign environment for price pressures and tepid consumer spending. Statistics Canada reported a small uptick in inflation from 15-month lows, to 1.5 percent, but those numbers are still well below the Bank of Canada’s 2 percent target. A separate report showed retail sales unexpectedly declined in January, reinforcing concerns about consumers paring back. The numbers suggest a relatively soft picture for an economy in the middle of a slowdown, with enough slack to limit any price pressures that could be a source of concern for the Bank of Canada. Retail sales were the big disappointment, underscoring a broader trend of slowing consumption by households as they face higher borrowing costs, moderating housing markets and volatility in financial markets. Read more at Bloomberg.