January 5, 2018 / 3:49 PM / 6 months ago

Canada job market soars, trade deficit widens

TORONTO (Reuters) - The Canadian economy added almost 80,000 jobs in December, pushing the jobless rate to a 41-year low of 5.7 percent, Statistics Canada said on Friday. Meanwhile, Canada’s trade deficit in November widened to C$2.54 billion.

STORIES:

Canada Dec job market soars, unemployment rate hits 41-year low

Canada November trade deficit widens to C$2.54 billion

STEFANE MARION, CHIEF ECONOMIST, NATIONAL BANK FINANCIAL

“A spectacular number for Canada on the job front. Two back-to-back months of 80,000 jobs. I know it’s a little softer this month in terms of full-time versus part-time, but nonetheless over the past year of the 420,000 jobs created in Canada almost 400,000 were full-time.

“It’s a spectacular year in terms of employment, and it shows that we are starting to run against capacity constraints right now, with the recent acceleration in wage inflation.”

“I think there’s a rate hike in January. You’re either data-dependant or you’re not. If you’re data-dependant and the data is as strong as it is right now, so all in all my view is that there is a rate hike in January.”

NICK EXARHOS, SENIOR ECONOMIST, CIBC ECONOMICS

“In our judgment, that should be enough to see the Bank of Canada hike rates later this month, with the employment figures more than enough to offset recent disappointments on GDP.

“Statistics Canada notes that the unemployment rate is now the lowest “since comparable data became available in January 1976”. Over to you Governor Poloz indeed.

“Today’s figures should be massive catalysts for the C$, and negative for the front end of the curve.”

ANDREW KELVIN, SENIOR RATES STRATEGIST AT TD SECURITIES

“It’s very strong data. We have the wage growth that we were hoping to see and the Bank of Canada was hoping to see. The full-time, part-time split was more skewed to part-time work but still healthy in the number of full time jobs added.”

“The only real negative thing I can see with this was there was a slight dip in youth employment which is something the governor (of the Bank of Canada) has been very preoccupied with. But on the whole it looks like a very positive report.”

“It certainly fits with a central bank that is likely to lift rates this quarter. January should be viewed as a live meeting.”

PAUL FERLEY, ASSISTANT CHIEF ECONOMIST, ROYAL BANK OF CANADA

“This report, in terms of the numbers both in employment growth and wage inflation, will raise the prospect of the bank continuing to withdraw the stimulus in the system with the economy appearing to have a pretty good head of steam.

“The bank has expressed concern about uncertainty with respect to the NAFTA renegotiations but today’s report suggests that strength in the economy has a good chance of weathering any trade hit. The Canadian dollar’s going to strengthen.”

“The U.S. numbers won’t trump the Canadian numbers so we will see some upward pressure on the Canadian dollar on the rising expectations of the bank moving at its policy meeting later this month.”

SAL GUATIERI, SENIOR ECONOMIST, BMO CAPITAL MARKETS:

“It was just another blowout employment report for Canada. The jobless rate is the lowest since the mid-70s. It could shift the dial on the Bank of Canada decision at the next policy meeting.

“I’m not sure whether we’ll change our view (from March) at this point. October GDP was quite weak and the trade balance deteriorated further in November, so that might be enough to keep the Bank of Canada sidelined until March. But the jobs number has shifted the odds much higher.”

Reporting by Nichola Saminather, Matt Scuffham, Alastair Sharp and Fergal Smith in Toronto; Compiled by Jim Finkle

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