Upcoming macroeconomic events – February/March 2019

Do you write or edit portfolio manager commentaries? Do you want to stay on top of the macroeconomic events that shape your day-to-day life as a financial services marketer?

Knowing what’s happening and why it matters is important. To help you stay on track, here are the big macro events the ext. team is keeping an eye on over the coming weeks.

  • On February 27, Canada’s inflation rate for January will be announced. The inflation rate rose from 1.7% to 2.0% in December, led higher by a rise in the price of food and air transportation. Inflation has slowed recently primarily as a result of the pullback in oil prices, easing some of the inflationary pressures building within the Canadian economy
  • Canada will announce its fourth quarter gross domestic product (“GDP”) growth rate on March 1. The Canadian economy grew 2.0% annualized in the third quarter, a slowdown from the second quarter. Consumer spending and real estate, both susceptible to the impact of higher interest rates, experienced weakness during the third quarter. These factors and the prolonged slump in oil prices could weigh heavily on fourth quarter results
  • Also on March 1, the final reading of the U.S. Manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index (“PMI”) for February will be announced. Following a decline from mid-2018, PMI rose from 53.8 to 54.9 in January. This increase was driven by higher new orders and robust manufacturing production levels, while employment also expanded. PMI will be closely watched to get an early reading on the health of the U.S. economy
  • The Bank of Canada’s (“BoC”) interest rate decision will be announced on March 6. The BoC held its benchmark overnight interest rate steady at 1.75% at its most recent meeting in January, and is expected to do the same again in March. Global economic conditions appear to be weakening, while domestically, lower oil prices, a decline in business spending and slower inflation may be enough to keep the BoC from raising rates
  • China will announce its exports, imports and balance of trade for February on March 8. China’s trade surplus widened in December. A decline in exports was offset by a significant drop in imports. Trade disruptions with the U.S. are having an impact on Chinese exports. Given the recent slowdown in this export-driven economy, this is sure to be a closely watched measure to gauge the impact from the trade dispute with the U.S.
  • On March 12, the U.S. inflation rate for February will be announced. U.S. inflation fell from 2.2% to 1.9% in December. U.S. inflation has not been immune from the effects of lower energy prices, as inflation fell over the fourth quarter of 2018. While the U.S. Federal Reserve Board (“Fed”) is closely monitoring inflation, especially the pullback in recent months, the Fed’s outlook for inflation over the long-term remains intact

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