Highlights from this week’s economic data:
• Employment in Canada rebounded by 29,000 net jobs in January, with all the job gains concentrated in full-time positions. The unemployment rate decreased to 7.0% from 7.2%.
• Canada’s trade deficit came in at $1.7 billion in December, widening from the downwardly revised November deficit of $1.5 billion. Imports (+1.2%) advanced at a faster rate than exports (+0.9%). The 2013Q4 readings suggest that net exports will likely be a drag on real GDP growth in the fourth quarter.
• The Canadian dollar appreciated by almost one U.S. cent this week, after falling below 90 U.S. cents last week for the first time since August 2009. The Canadian dollar is expected to hit 85 cents U.S. by mid 2014.