A weekly roundup of economic indicators
Average weekly earnings in the goods-producing sector
SOURCE: Statistics Canada
Wage gains outpace inflation in May
Statistics Canada reported Thursday that average weekly earnings crept up 0.5 per cent in May compared with April, and that gains were felt in all provinces. The average worker made $894.61 per week -- a 2.5-per-cent increase compared with last year, and well above the 1.2-per-cent rate of inflation recorded for May, 2012. (Ora Morison)
Bank rate and 5-year fixed mortgage rate, 1980 to June, 2012
Bank rate and 5-year mortgage rate: 1980 to 2012
Economy Lab's Mike Moffatt says we should deflate our fears that Canada is experiencing a housing bubble on the verge of busting. He says fundamentals -- rising population and income -- has more to do with the increase in home prices than speculation and that more government intervention in the market would be counterproductive.
Retail sales by province and territory, May 2012
Year-over-year change, May, 2011 to May, 2012; seasonally adjusted
SOURCE: Statistics Canada
May retail sales
Canadian retailers saw another month of flatlining sales growth in May, Statscan reported this week. Sales crept up slightly during the month, following a drop in sales in April. Retailers have been experiencing more or less stagnant sales since November. May’s 0.3-per-cent gain for total sales of $38.9-billion shows the second quarter of 2012 is likely to be more of the same. Despite some bright spots in the retail trade report -- the first sales increase at grocery stores and supermarkets since the beginning of the year, for example -- the second quarter is still tracking negative in retail sales.
OECD housing prices, 2005-2011
Selected countries; percentage change from previous period, nominal price
Spot the bubbles: OECD house prices, 2005 to 2011
Want to see what a boom-to-bust looks like in a housing market? Have a look at these house prices in selected OECD countries from 2005 through 2011, which measures the year-over-year change in nominal prices. Canada, which has recently found itself in the cross hairs of a few bubble-seeking U.S. writers, doesn't come close to matching the profile of, say, Ireland -- or Spain in 2005-06. Just don't tell that to a Toronto house hunter trying to outbid a dozen or so other eager buyers for a downtown two-bedroom starter.
U.S. GDP, per cent change from previous quarter
Seasonally adjusted at annual rates
SOURCE: U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis
U.S. growth slows
The U.S. economy grew at an annual rate of just 1.5 per cent from April through June, as Americans cut back sharply on spending. The slowdown in growth adds to worries that the economy could be stalling three years after the recession ended. - Associated Press
Canada's biggest listed energy companies
By market capitalization on the S&P TSX composite index.
SOURCE: Bloomberg data, based on the close of trading on July 20, 2012
Canada's biggest energy companies
The proposed takeover of Nexen Inc. by state-backed CNOOC Ltd. of China has raised speculation that other Canadian energy companies could now be ripe for acquisition. Here is a list of Canada's biggest publicly traded energy companies by market capitalization. The prices were based on the close of trading on July 20, before CNOOC's offer became known.