Ahead of the Bell: Economy-GDP

David Rosenberg: With Canada's economy on fire, I'm turning more bullish on the loonie

The Canadian economy grew 1.1% in 2017's second quarter after a 0.9% jump in Q1, Statistics Canada announced August 31, adding up to a cumulative increase of 2% in the first half of the year.

The Canadian dollar surged more than 1 per cent against its US counterpart on Thursday after data showing the strongest economic growth rate in almost six years, boosting chances of another interest rate hike from the Bank of Canada. That was its first rate hike in seven years.

Statistics Canada's Survey of Employment, Payrolls, and Hours on Wednesday showed wage growth accelerating to 2.7 per cent year-over-year in June, the fastest pace since December 2015.

SHORT TERM TRADER: Square but will sell on a daily close below 7300.

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Zandi is forecasting that growth in 2018 will be an even stronger 2.8 percent.

President Donald Trump has promised to grow the GDP to 3% and higher, but economists have doubted this could actually happen due to an "ageing [sic] population and poor productivity growth".

That's an annualized rate of expansion of 4.5 per cent, the highest the figure has been since the third quarter of 2011. American consumers remain in the driver's seat in the current expansion, backed by a strong job market, contained inflation and low borrowing costs.

The rate surpassed analyst expectations, which called for an increase of 2.7 per cent.

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This is the strongest two-quarter growth since 2002, in which there was a half-year increase of 2.1%. But earnings began to recover previous year as crude prices stabilized, and exporters are getting a boost because the dollar has weakened since early 2017. Activity expanded faster in the spring than initially expected, and the composition of GDP in the quarter bodes well for continued strength over the rest of the year.

A separate earnings measure produced by the Commerce Department, pretax profits with inventory valuation and capital consumption adjustments, rose 1.3% last quarter after falling 2.1% in the first three months of 2017, and was up 7% over the past year.

Adding to support for the loonie, USA crude oil prices rebounded after being pressured this week by Tropical Storm Harvey, which knocked out about a quarter of US refinery capacity.

The likelihood rises to more than 85% between now and the end of the year. The Bank of Canada had predicted second-quarter real GDP to expand by 3% in its latest forecast, released in July.

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Jodi Taylor, chief financial officer at the Container Store Group Inc., said the retailer has seen solid growth in the higher-ticket portion of its business. The Feds found that "F$3 ixed nonresidential investment rose at a 6.9% pace last quarter, up from an initial estimate of 5.2%, including stronger spending on software".

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