The Canadian dollar is trading lower against a basket of currencies on Thursday as an influx of mixed data is driving the loonie’s short-term performance towards the end of the trading week. The slumping economy is not giving consumers a ton of confidence, suggesting that they may not be as adamant to consume.
According to Statistics Canada, exports surged 3.2% to $49 billion in March, driven by energy products, automobiles, mining, and aerospace technology. Imports to Canada also increased 2.5% to $52.26 billion in March, buoyed by apparel, technology, and transportation. Overall, Canada recorded a trade deficit of $3.21 billion, down from $3.41 billion in February.
In the housing market, the nationâs statistics agency found that Canadaâs new home prices were unchanged in March for the second straight month. In the countryâs two biggest markets, prices were flat in Toronto and values dipped 0.4% in Vancouver.
Over the last year, prices have been trading relatively sideways, suggesting that the industry has cooled off after skyrocketing to all-time highs.
On Wednesday, the Canadian Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) reported that seasonally adjusted annual rates of housing starts climbed to 235,460 units in April, up from 191,981 in March. It also beats median estimates of 196,400 units. So far this year, April has been the best performing month for housing starts, with February being the worst at 166,292.
The data could help explain why consumer confidence is sinking to depressed levels in Canada. The Bloomberg Nanos Canadian Confidence Index came in at 54.9 in April, down from 55.4 in March.
The polling found that only 13.1 per cent of Canadians believe the economy will get stronger over the next six months, near record lows for this question. Households are also reporting concerns about their personal finances, with 29.5 per cent claiming their finances have worsened over the past year. On the plus side, Canadians are showing more confidence in the housing market, with readings for this question returning to more average levels for the survey.
The USD/CAD currency pair slumped 0.06% to 1.3486, from an opening of 1.3479, at 16:44 GMT on Thursday. The EUR/CAD tumbled 0.25% to 1.5123, from an opening of 1.5086.
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