Dennis Gartman has been in Canada's cheering section for so long now that he practically has season's tickets. Last Friday's employment data gave the popular investing newsletter writer/publisher another reason to wave the Maple Leaf.
Mr. Gartman, whose daily The Gartman Letter is keenly followed in investing circles, wrote in his Monday installment that Canada's latest employment report - showing that 22,000 net new jobs were created in December - was considerably more positive than the U.S. report released the same day, which showed a much-less-than-expected 103,000 new jobs in the month.
"Given that Canada's population is approximately 1/10th that of the U.S., this is the rough equivalent of the U.S. having created 220,000 non-farm jobs in December," he wrote. He added that most of the growth came in the key manufacturing sector.
"We note that with this 22,000 new jobs created, Canada has gotten its employment situation back to the levels prevailing just before the recession started back in '07."
"We are - and we should be - much impressed."
In the U.S. number - which was about half of what he, as well as many economists, had anticipated, and still reflects relatively anemic employment growth - he did find a silver lining: The October and November employment numbers were revised upward.
"We have learned over the years that the 'direction of revisions' is one of the better indicators of the direction of economic activity," he said. "During recessions, all data is revised 'for the worse,' while in periods of economic strength, they are revised always 'for the better.' ... We came away from the report a bit more optimistic than others might have."