June 1, 2018

Trade tariffs – US imported tariffs

  • Canada retaliated with tariffs on $16.6 bill of US goods, the strongest response since WWII.
    • Targeted for maximum political pressure – will cover range of imports, such as yogurt from Wisconsin, and whiskey from Kentucky in addition to aluminum and steel products.
    • EU and Mexico will announce their retaliation today
  • China CUT tariffs by 60% on near 1,500 consumer products, effective July 1st.

US Employment

  • US added 223,000 jobs in May vs 190,000 expected.
    • Unemployment rate 3.8% vs 3.9% expected.
    • Average hourly earnings up 2.7% annual, as expected.
    • Full-time employment hit all time high.

Financial fears

  • Survey of 1,000 Canadians over the age of 60 revealed that nearly half of them have at least one financial concern.
    • 1 in 4 fear they might run out of money before they die.
    • 1 in 4 are concerned they won’t be able to pay for long-term care.
    • Other fears include never being able to pay off their debt, not having enough money to retire, having to sell their house or needing to depend on children for financial support.
  • Survey also discovered that Canadians are extending their working years, with 1 in 5 still working past age 60, and 6% are working to age 80 and above.
    • The reasons include fears of not being able to afford retirement, too much debt, not enough savings, still helping their children financially, or they love their job.

Marijuana lessons

  • Colorado’s legal weed market boosted illegal sales; criminal organizations grow weed in Colorado and smuggle it elsewhere.
  • Experienced higher dispensary prices and loyalty to long-term dealers.
  • Facebook survey suggests 50% of respondents were not shopping at the state’s licensed dispensaries.
  • According to DEA, teams are spending 15% of their time on marijuana trafficking – 300% increase since legalization.

Tidbits

  • Bank of Canada left the overnight rate unchanged at 1.25%.
  • Average monthly payment for US car buyers reached all time high at US$523 in Q1. Average amount borrowed is now at US$31,453.
  • Q4 2017, 4.5 mil of US households, or 9.1%, owed more than their homes are worth, with an estimated 713,000 owing at least 2x as much as the property value.
  • Number of electric vehicles worldwide rose to a record 3.1 mil in 2017, with China accounting for 40% of the total.