July 27, 2018

Canada

  • 18% of home buyers cannot pass new mortgage stress test at 5.50% interest.
  • Toronto was the fastest-growing tech-job market in North America during 2017, adding 28,900 tech jobs for a total of more than 241,000 workers, up 52% over the last 5 years.
    • Canada’s biggest city took 4th place in “tech talent,” pushing New York down and coming in just after the San Francisco, Seattle and the Washington D.C.
  • Husky and Equinor are developing a $6.8 billion off shore project in Newfoundland and Labrador, believed to contain more than 300 million barrels of oil.

US

  • Consumer spending makes up 70% of the U.S. GDP. Q2 2018 GDP growth reached 4.1%, highest since 2014.
  • Over the past 5 year spending of the lower 40% of workers has grown more than their pre-tax income.
  • Bottom 60% of income-earners have accounted for most of the rise in spending over the past 2 years. In the past, the top 40% had primarily fueled consumption growth.
  • President Trump has delayed his second meeting with Russian president Putin until next year.

Trade

  • U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer said it is possible NAFTA partners will reach a tentative agreement in August. US wants:
    • Minimum-wage floor.
    • 70% North American content in cars to qualify for duty-free entry to the US.
    • Sunset clause that would end the deal after 5 years if not renegotiated.
  • Lighthizer says Canada is a national security threat “in the case of steel”.
  • Jim Carr, International Trade Minister, invited a dozen trade ministers to meet and discuss fixing the WTO. Left off the list were the US and China.
  • Trump agreed to refrain from imposing car tariffs while negotiating with the EU.
  • Japan states that they will continue to resist US efforts to create a bilateral free trade agreement.
  • Germany seeks alliance with Japan to counter US protectionism.
  • US “quietly” passed legislation that will reduce or eliminate tariffs on chemicals and roughly 1,660 other items, half of which are made in China.
  • Trump administration announced up to $12 billion in emergency aid for American farmers hurt by trade tariffs.

Tidbits

  • A cup of coffee at a bakery in Caracas, Venezuela increased at an annualized rate of almost 300,000% over past 3 months.
  • Chinese investment in US commercial property fell 97% percent to $81 million in Q2 Y/Y, the lowest level in 5 years.