Mann at Work
Reed Construction Data editor Denise Mann gathers North American construction-related economic announcements from around the Web and summarizes them just for BuildingTeam Forecast readers. Your feedback and suggestions for future topics to be covered are always welcome.
Wednesday, May 30, 2007
Bank of Canada Holds Rate Steady, While U.S. Consumer Confidence Gets Stronger
Many Bank of Canada watchers got what they expected today — no change in the bank’s overnight rate, but a warning that the bank is prepared to raise the rate at its next scheduled announcement in July. Meanwhile, the U.S. Consumer Confidence outlook for the next six months can best be described as “cautious.” The board’s director, Lynn Franco, says that the confidence levels “suggest growth…at a slow pace.”
You’ll find more details on today’s announcements below. As always, please feel free to add your comments on the day’s news by clicking on the “Comments” link above.
Elsewhere on BuildingTeamForecast, Jim Haughey says that the value of office starts doubled in first-quarter 2007 from last fall. The surge continued through April of this year. Starts were 71% higher than in April of last year. While the 71% figure appears to be a sharp spike in office starts, they will not continue at this level for long.
Bank of Canada keeps key rate steady at 4.25%
The Bank now judges that there is somewhat greater excess demand in the economy than was thought to be the case in April.
Information gathered since the Bank’s April Monetary Policy Report (MPR) indicates that economic growth and inflation in Canada in the first part of this year have been stronger than the Bank was expecting. The Canadian economy appears to have grown at an annual rate of about 3.5% in the first quarter of this year, a full 1.0% higher than was estimated in the April MPR.
Conference Board Consumer Confidence Index Improves
The outlook for the next six months remains cautious. Consumers anticipating business conditions to improve increased to 15.1 percent from 13.8 percent. Consumers expecting business conditions to worsen, however, edged up to 10.1 percent from 9.7 percent.
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