Oct. 11, 2013

ALBERTA’S EMPLOYMENT

  • Alberta added 4,000 new jobs (monthly average 5,000/month over past 2 years). Full time increased by 7,500; part time dropped by 3,500.
  • Unemployment dropped to 4.3% vs 4.8% in August. Grand Prairie was at 3.8%, Edmonton 5.1%, Calgary 4.7%, Red Deer 5.4%, Lethbridge/Medicine Hat 3.2%.
  • YoY Alberta has added 80,300 jobs (+3.7%), represents nearly 4 out of 10 jobs which were created in Canada.
  • Total wages and salaries paid to all employees in H1 of 2013 were 7.7% higher than 2012.
  • Albertans are on pace to earn over $140 billion compared to $66 billion in 2003.

ALBERTA’S INFLATION – August 2008 – August 2013

  • Alberta’s inflation is 4.3%. The largest increases are: meat up 18.7%, dairy up 13.6%, fresh fruit up 11.9% and baked goods up 11.2%.
  • Tuition fees are up 15.3% and transit rates are up 28.6%.
  • Women’s clothes, furniture, household appliances and new motor vehicles all cost LESS.
  • Natural gas prices are down 57.5% and filling your car or truck at the pump is cheaper.

FED TAPERING

  • The IMF Global Financial Stability report estimates that the market losses on bond portfolios could reach $2.3 trillion if long term interest rates increase by 1%.
  • Potential damage from a spike in long-term bond yields could result in a loss of liquidity in corporate bonds, REIT’s and mortgages.
  • A sudden increase in interest rates would have a negative effect on corporations and consumers which in turn could make banks vulnerable.
  • Higher interest rates in the US increase the possibility of capital flight from emerging markets into US dollars.
  • The IMF cut their global outlook for growth to 2.9% for 2013 and 3.6% for 2014 vs the July predictions of 3.1% for 2013 and 3.8% for 2014. Emerging market growth projections were lowered to 4.5% for 2013 from 5%.
  • The minutes from the last Federal Reserve meeting suggest tapering is likely to start near the end of this year.

TIDBITS

  • European leaders voted to force energy companies to carry out environment audits before ‘fracking’.
  • Bank of America says that the Bank of Canada will not increase interest rates until 2016.
  • Michael Wilson, chair of Barclays Capital Canada, says that Canada should make one more push for a Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement between Canada and Europe.
  • Chevron warned that Q3 earnings would be lower than Q2 due to ‘significantly lower’ earnings from its refining division.
  • US Consumer Credit grew $13.6 billion in July largely due to car purchases and student loans.