Apr. 9, 2020

CANADIAN EMPLOYMENT – SURVEY PERIOD MARCH 15TH TO MARCH 21ST

  • Canada lost 1,010,700 jobs in March (474,000 full time)
    • Unemployment rate up 2.2% to 7.8%
    • Quebec had the largest increase in unemployment rate, up 3.6% to 8.1%
  • Alberta lost 117,100 jobs in March (43,500 full time)
    • Unemployment rate up 1.5% to 8.7%

COVID-19 UPDATE

  • Alberta Premier Jason Kenney provided an update on Alberta’s response to COVID-19 on April 7th:
    • Probable case projects a peak of 800,000 cases peaking in mid-May
    • Number of ‘probable’ deaths range from 400 to 3,100
    • In an ‘elevated’ scenario, there could be over 1,000,000 infections and between 500 and 6,600 deaths
    • Physical distancing and hand washing are working and must be maintained
    • Relaunch Strategy (once approved by Chief Medical Officer):
      • Aggressive system of mass testing (up to 20,000 tests per day) to track infections and close contacts
      • Strong border screening at airports
      • Strictly enforced quarantine orders
      • Encourage use of masks in crowded public spaces
    • Companies are pivoting production:
      • CAE to make 10,000 ventilators (currently makes flight simulators)
      • Medicom will begin manufacturing N95 masks in Canada
      • Food manufacturers are limiting production to their most popular items

FEDERAL RESERVE UPDATE – APRIL 9, 2020

  • Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell: Path of economy will depend on COVID-19
    • Recovery is expected in the second half of 2020. Q2 is likely to be very weak
    • Inflation is not the “first order concern” right now
    • Many people need direct fiscal support
    • Chair Powell does not believe US banks need to suspend dividends

OIL OVERSUPPLY AS GLOBAL DEMAND CONTINUES TO DECLINE

  • OPEC and its allies met by video conference today and have the ‘outline’ of a deal to cut production by 10 million barrels a day.
    • These decisions will form the basis of Friday’s discussions on further contributions from G20 nations
    • US involvement is seen as key
  • Oil demand in India has collapsed as much as 70%.
  • Some American refineries face closure as consumption has declined to the lowest level in at least 30 years.
  • US Energy Information Administration said that US fuel demand has dropped about 1/3 in the last 3 weeks.
    • The largest demand decline on record occurred last week (down 3.4 million barrels/day)
    • US production declined 600,000 barrels/day in the week ending April 3rd