Here is the latest;Highlights
• Financial markets continued to come under pressure this week as the S&P 500 was down another 5.1% by 1:00 pm Friday. The Canadian S&P/TSX index fell over 400 points this week. Commodity prices ended the week at $72 U.S./barrel.
• The Case-Shiller home price index showed some improvement in April. But optimism surrounding the housing recovery was tempered by the lowest ever reading in the pending home sales index.
• The ISM manufacturing survey suggests that manufacturing activity continues to expand at a healthy pace, but has slowed slightly from earlier in the year.
• The private sector created 83 thousand jobs in June. While it is encouraging that job growth continues, the pace remains subdued and rather unimpressive.
• Canadian real GDP stalled in April, led by outsized declines in domestic components such as retail sales, arts, entertainment, and recreation. There was also some broad-based weakness in manufacturing.
• This week marked a milestone for the Ontario and British Columbia, with the introduction of the harmonized sales tax (HST). Some minor near-term economic adjustments are anticipated.
The Bottom line in the stats, lower interest rates for Canadian mortgages. The recovery is still weak and will continue to move at a slower pace for the next couple of quarters. Let's hope the emergency relief still kicks in to keep the machines going.