In The US:
US Non-farm Payroll employment grew at a less than expected pace of 98,000 in March. And as I say about this data each month, it will be subject to possibly significant revision:
January data was revised lower by 22,000 and February (remember all the hoopla?) data was revised lower by 16,000. So as we like to do, to smooth out the monthly swings, look at the 12 month moving average (in pink) and it continues its decline from its peak in early 2015. US job growth is trending lower.
The unemployment rate dropped to 4.5%:
So there is no imminent concern about a US recession until the current rate moves above the 3 year moving average, currently at 5.3% (but falling rapidly).
Wages are not growing rapidly, which may give the Federal Reserve some pause to reflect:
Now, with consumer spending expected to slow further, GDP for the 1st quarter of 2017 is anticipated to come in at only a 0.6% rate of growth, way less than earlier expectations (See Paul's blog... http://highrockcapital.ca/pauls-blog/is-the-fed-making-a-policy-error )
Risks are rising.
In Canada, the number of employed rose by 19,000 (a bit more than expected) but as more people were looking for work, the unemployment rate inched higher to 6.7%.
We do not see any change in current Bank of Canada policy. So stay variable on your mortgage (or HELOC), it continues to cost less than fixed and longer dated maturities (based on bond yields) are lower than they were at the beginning of the year.
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Scott Tomenson,CIM Managing Partner, Chief Investment Strategist