Canadian Employment Growth Led by Alberta
+ Alberta accounted for 13,700 new jobs as Canadian employment grew by 15,100 in February.
+ Alberta has added 35,300 jobs in the past 2 months, matching a record.
+ Full time jobs declined 23,800 while part-time jobs grew 38,900.
+ Health care & Social Assistance, manufacturing, and construction were the top performers.
+ Japan was hit by an 8.9 (out of 9) earthquake, followed by a 10 metre (33 ft) high tsunami. Initial reports indicate that the damage is not as bad as that in 1995, however at least 300 people have died. The Bank of Japan has pledged liquidity to help support the economy.
+ Chinese inflation topped expectations in February at 4.9%, adding further pressure for another dose of monetary tightening.
+ Global rice production is expected to reach record levels, topping a banner year in 2010. Benchmark prices have dropped as much as 8% in the past two months and have fallen approximately 50% since the peak in 2008.
+ As noted by NBF Chief Economist and Strategist, Stéfan Marion, OPEC spare capacity now stands at more than 4 million barrels a day or 2.8X more spare capacity compared to 1.5 million barrels in 2008.
+ Quebec has put shale gas exploration on hold pending a full environmental study on a controversial drilling technique.