Jan. 8, 2021

CANADIAN HOUSING MARKET

  • Calgary’s December home sales were up 50.7% Y/Y, the best December performance since 2006.
  • Greater Vancouver December home sales increased 53.4% Y/Y, the best December since records started in 1980.
  • Toronto December home sales increased 64.5% Y/Y.
  • Montreal December home sales increased 30.7% Y/Y.

NORTH AMERICAN EMPLOYMENT DATA

  • CANADA lost 63,000 jobs in December, the first decline since April.
    • Part-time fell 99,000 and self-employment fell 62,000
    • Total hours worked fell 0.3%
    • Unemployment rate 8.6% vs 8.5% M/M
    • Alberta lost 11,900 jobs; unemployment rate 11% vs 11.1% M/M
      • Edmonton added 7,100 jobs; unemployment rate 11.1% vs 11.3%
      • Calgary lost 1,000 jobs; unemployment rate 10.4% vs 10.7%
  • UNITED STATES lost 140,000 jobs in December; unemployment rate unchanged at 6.7%.
    • 23.7% worked remotely vs 21.8% in November
    • Average hourly earnings increased to $29.81 from $29.58
    • Average workweek fell 0.1 hours to 34.7 hours per week in December

ENERGY AND ENVIRONMENT

  • The Canadian Federal government and several provinces are pressing the US to avert the permanent shutdown of the Enbridge Line 5 pipeline which carries fuel for Ontario and Quebec. The shutdown is scheduled for May 2021.
  • US did not import any crude from Saudi Arabia in December for the first time in 35 years.
  • President Trump’s unprecedented auction of Arctic drilling rights on Wednesday netting just $14.4 million from just 3 bidders, with no major oil companies participating.

TIDBITS

  • NEC Corporation has launched a new facial recognition system that identifies people even when they are wearing masks.
  • Elon Musk is now the world’s richest person surpassing Jeff Bezos. (Source: Bloomberg)
  • The cryptocurrency market cap has surpassed $1 trillion for the first time.
  • International Game Technology has received a patent enabling transfer of cryptocurrency between a player’s gaming establishment account to an external cryptocurrency account.
  • Microsoft is backing the development of a ‘smart cane’ for the visually impaired. It is equipped with GPS, taxi booking and voice assistant.
  • Amazon is buying 11 used Boeing 767-300 planes; this is the first time Amazon has purchased rather than leased aircraft for its air cargo operation.