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Canadian Economics Weekly Wrap: CPI, Multiple Inflation Indices, Housing Data

Economic Indicators May 21, 2022 11:49
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By Ketki Saxena – The major story in Canadian economics last week was undoubtedly the CPI, which rose to 6.8% in April from 6.7% in March.

However, the CPI wasn’t the only index of inflation released this week: other indicators released this week included the Industrial Product Price Index, the raw materials price index, and two indices of home prices: the MLS Price Index, and the Teranet/national bank home price index.

The week also included various points of housing data. Accordingly, this week’s edition of the Canadian Econ wrap includes a separate piece on housing, reflecting data on home sales, housing supply, and home prices.

Here’s a full recap of the week in Canadian economics:

  • CPI: In April, Canadian consumer prices rose 6.8% year over year, a slight increase from March (+6.7%).The year-over-year increase in April was largely driven by food and shelter prices. Gas prices increased at a slower pace in April compared with March, moderating the acceleration of the all-items Consumer Price Index (CPI) in April. On a monthly basis, the CPI rose 0.6% in April after a 1.4% gain in March. On a seasonally adjusted monthly basis, the CPI rose 0.7%.

  • Manufacturing sales: manufacturing sales rose 2.5 per cent to $70.2-billion in March, however sales in constant dollars were unchanged. gain in manufacturing sales were led by the petroleum and coal product industry which increased 9.1 percent in March as higher prices offset a 1.0-per-cent drop in volumes sold. Meanwhile, sales of primary metals rose 6.5 per cent in March to $5.8-billion, a record high, boosted by higher prices for unwrought aluminum and aluminum alloys and hot-rolled iron or steel products. Sales in the machinery sector fell 4.9 per cent to $3.6-billion in March, while sales of other transportation equipment dropped 41.0 per cent to $227.8-million

  • Wholesale trade: The gains in wholesale sales came as the building material and supplies sector rose 3.8 per cent to $14.1-billion, while the motor vehicle and motor-vehicle accessories and parts subsectors gained 2.6 per cent at $11.8-billion.Meanwhile, wholesale sales of machinery, equipment and supplies fell 4.0 per cent to $16.2-billion.

  • International securities transactions: The net inflow for March reached $70.9 billion. The record-setting activity came as foreign investors acquired $46.9 billion of Canadian securities in March, and Canadian investors sold $24.0 billion worth of foreign securities in the month. Data from march raised total first quarter net inflows to $119.7 billion, the largest amount seen since the series has been compiled. Including March, total foregn investor purchases for the first quarter totaled $74.5 billion, compared with $16.1 billion for the same period last year. Statistics Canada noted that this activity was within the context of “rising interest rates and prices and uncertainty related to the global geopolitical situation”.

  • IPPI: In April, the Industrial Product Price Index (IPPI) rose 0.8% month over month and 16.4% year over year. The monthly increase was mainly due to higher prices for energy and petroleum products (+5.2%). The overall increase in the IPPI was largely moderated by lower prices for softwood lumber (-13.7%) the first monthly decrease for softwood lumber following six months of consecutive price increases. The drop in prices may have been influenced by higher interest rates in the United States, the primary market for Canadian softwood lumber.

  • Raw Materials Price Index : In April 2022, the Raw Materials Price Index declined 2.0% month over month and rose 38.4% year over year. After three months of consecutive increases, the price of conventional crude oil was down 7.6% in April. In spite of the monthly decline, prices for conventional crude oil were 71.0% higher compared with April 2021. Prices for metal ores, concentrates and scrap were down 1.3% in April. This was mainly driven by a drop in prices for gold, silver, and platinum group metal ores and concentrates (-3.3%), and waste and scrap of metal (-1.9%). Crop products increased 4.0% in April. Price increases within this category were widespread, including canola (+5.2%), corn for grain (+13.6%) and wheat (+5.5%).

  • Canadian Housing Data: Sales of existing homes declined 12.6% between March and April 2022, and by over 25% year on year. Activity however still remain at a historical high, with this month’s figures still the third highest ever recorded for April since the series began. Newly listed homes dropped 2.2% in April, and housing starts increased by 8% to 267,330. Pricing presents a slightly more mixed picture. The Teranet National Bank Index reported 2.7% increase in prices month over month, and an 18.8% annual gain in April for 11 benchmark locations. The MLS HPI however, recorded a decline month on month, and a 7.4% increase year over year. Incidentally, shelter costs measured by CPI matched the increase reflected by MLS prices, also growing 7.4% year over year.

Canadian Economics Weekly Wrap: CPI, Multiple Inflation Indices, Housing Data

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