This morning’s Jobs Report was again solid. Job creation, though more tempered than in earlier months, is still robust. The unemployment rate remained at 5.0% for the fourth consecutive month. Very troubling to the Bank of Canada was the wage inflation, still above 5%.
No doubt the Bank does not welcome this news. But the jobs market is a lagging indicator, so the BoC will likely continue the pause on April 12th. DLC will host another In Conversation on that date with President, Eddy Cocciollo, and myself.
The economy will report about 1.5% GDP growth in Q1–up from zero growth at the end of last year. Consumer spending remains strong, and the early indications suggest that the housing market is picking up and prices are rising on limited supply. As the year progresses, supply shortages will become more evident, and rent will increase sharply, making ownership more attractive.
All eyes will be on OSFI mid-month when the comment period on new initiatives end. The Department of Finance wants banks to ease credit conditions, especially for VRM borrowers now running negative amortization. OSFI has different ideas, especially with a mini banking crisis in the US and Switzerland.