Canadian prices, as measured by the Consumer Price Index (CPI), rose 2.9 per cent on a year-over-year basis in March, up from a 2.8% increase in February. Month-over-month, on a seasonally adjusted basis, CPI rose by 0.3 per cent in March. The slight uptick in headline CPI was largely due to rising gasoline prices. Excluding energy costs, CPI rose 2.8 per cent year-over-year in March, down from 2.9 per cent in February. Shelter costs remain the major driver of inflation with mortgage interest costs up 25.4 per cent and rent up 8.5 per cent from the same time last year in March. Excluding shelter, consumer prices rose just 1.5 per cent, year over year. In BC, consumer prices rose 2.7 per cent year-over-year, up from 2.6 per cent in February. The Bank of…

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Today, the Bank of Canada held the overnight rate at 5% for the sixth consecutive meeting and pledged to continue normalizing its balance sheet. Governor Macklem confirmed that inflation is moving in the right direction, labour markets are easing, and wage pressures appear to be dissipating. In today's release of the April Monetary Policy Report (MPR), the central bank forecasters lowered their 2024 inflation forecast to 2.6% from 2.8%. However, the Governing Council needs more evidence to be confident that the downtrend in inflation is sustainable.

In contrast, the US CPI data released today for March showed that underlying inflation topped forecasts for the third consecutive month, and the US jobs data also beat estimates. This is in direct contrast…

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Increased seller activity is giving buyers more choice this spring.

The number of Metro Vancouver1 homes listed for sale on the MLS® rose nearly 23 per cent year-over-year, providing more opportunity for buyers looking for a home this spring.

The Greater Vancouver REALTORS® (GVR) reports that residential sales in the region totalled 2,415 in March 2024, a 4.7 per cent decrease from the 2,535 sales recorded in March 2023. This was 31.2 per cent below the 10-year seasonal average (3,512).

“If you’re finding the weather a little chillier than last spring, you may find some comfort in knowing that the market isn’t quite as hot as it was last spring either, particularly if you’re a buyer,” Andrew Lis, GVR’s director of economics and data analytics…

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March home sales growth off last month’s pace, but supply still building in the Fraser Valley.

Home buyers in the Fraser Valley have more choice heading into the spring market with inventory levels for March at the highest they’ve been in the past five years.

However, March sales were slower than anticipated with 1,395 transactions recorded on the Fraser Valley Real Estate Board’s Multiple Listings Service® (MLS®), a 13 per cent increase over February, but still 31 per cent below the 10-year average. Sales were the second lowest recorded for a March in a decade. Active listings were 6,197, up by 11 per cent over last month and by 37 per cent over March 2023.

“With inventory building, buyers now have more opportunities in both the detached and…

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Canadian real GDP grew 0.6 per cent in January, following a 0.1 per cent contraction in December. The growth was driven by services-producing sectors, which rose by 0.7 per cent. The resolution of public sector strikes in Quebec led to a jump in educational and social services GDP, reversing declines in the prior two months. Residential construction activity fell by 1.5 per cent, declining for the third consecutive month following a burst of activity in the summer and fall. Offices of real estate agents and brokers increased for the second consecutive month, rising 4 per cent as higher home sales in the greater Toronto region contributed to growth. Preliminary estimates suggest that output in the Canadian economy rose 0.4 per cent in February.

As…

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Canadian prices, as measured by the Consumer Price Index (CPI), rose 2.8 per cent on a year-over-year basis in February, down from a 2.9% increase in January. Month-over-month, on a seasonally adjusted basis, CPI rose by 0.1 per cent in February. Excluding energy costs, CPI rose 2.9 per cent year-over-year in February, down from 3.2 per cent in January. Decelerating food costs also contributed to the slowing in the CPI, with prices of food purchased from stores rising by 2.4 per cent in February compared to 3.4 per cent in January.Shelter costs, however, continue to be a major driver of inflation, with mortgage interest costs up 26.3 per cent and rent up 8.2 per cent from the same time last year in February. Excluding shelter, consumer prices rose just…

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Home sellers awaken this spring, bringing much-needed inventory to the housing market.

While Metro Vancouver home sellers appeared somewhat hesitant in January, new listings rose 31 per cent year-over-year in February, bringing a significant number of newly listed properties to the market. Greater Vancouver REALTORS® (GVR) reports that residential sales in the region totalled 2,070 in February 2024, a 13.5 per cent increase from the 1,824 sales recorded in February 2023. This was 23.3 per cent below the 10-year seasonal average (2,699).

“While the pace of home sales started the year off briskly, the pace of newly listed properties in January was slower by comparison. A continuation of this pattern in February would have been concerning, as it could…

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Real gross domestic product (GDP) rose a moderate 1.0% (seasonally adjusted annual rate), a tad better than expected and the Q3 contraction of -1.2% was revised to -0.5%. This leaves growth for 2023 at a moderate 1.1%. Monthly data, also released today by Statistics Canada, showed that December came in flat, well below the robust flash estimate, while the January preliminary estimate was a strong +0.4% (subject, of course, to revision). The January uptick was driven by the return of Quebec public servants and a mild winter.

The fourth quarter growth was fuelled by higher oil exports and was moderated by a significant decline in business investment. Housing investment declined again in Q4--a sixth decline in the last seven quarters. Despite increased…

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The Consumer Price Index (CPI) rose 2.9% year-over-year in January, down sharply from December's 3.4% reading. The most significant contributor to the deceleration was a 4% decline in y/y gasoline prices, compared to a 1.4% rise the month before (see chart below). Excluding gasoline, headline CPI slowed to 3.2% y/y, down from 3.5% in December.

Headline inflation of 2.9% marks the first time since June that inflation has moved into the Bank of Canada 1%-to-3% target band and only the second time to breach that band since March 2021.

Grocery price inflation also decelerated broadly in January to 3.4% y/y, down from 4.7% in December. Lower prices for airfares and travel tours also contributed to the headline deceleration. Prices for clothing and…

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Canadian prices, as measured by the Consumer Price Index (CPI), rose 2.9 per cent on a year-over-year basis in January, down from a 3.4% increase in December. Month-over-month, on a seasonally adjusted basis, CPI declined by 0.1 per cent in January, the first decline since May of 2020. Gasoline base-year effects contributed to the decline. Excluding energy costs, CPI rose 3.3 per cent year-over-year in January, down from 3.7 per cent in December. Decelerating food costs also contributed to the slowing in the CPI, with food prices rising by 3.4 per cent in January compared to 4.7 per cent in December. Shelter costs, however, continue to be a major driver of inflation, with mortgage interest costs up 27.4 per cent and rent up 7.9 per cent from last year in…

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