News from The Daily
Consumer Price Index
In January, consumers paid 1.2% more for the goods and services included in the CPI basket than they did in January 2003. This was the smallest 12-month increase since May 2002, when it was 1.0%.
Annual Review of the Consumer Price Index
In 2003, consumers paid an average of 2.8% more for the goods and services in the Consumer Price Index basket than they did in the previous year.
Corporate financial leverage and employment in manufacturing
Firms with high levels of debt tend to reduce their workforce somewhat more when their sales decline than other firms, especially during periods of economic slack
Monthly Survey of Manufacturing
A modest increase in December 2003 shipments capped off what has otherwise been a bumpy ride for manufacturers last year.
Canadian international merchandise trade
Merchandise exporters finished 2003 on a positive note, reporting a 3.6% gain in their shipments abroad for December, despite a Canadian dollar that hit decade-high levels.
Specialized design services
The pick-up in economic activity across Canada in 2002 was welcome news in some segments of the specialized design industry group.
Labour Force Survey
Following strong gains in the last four months of 2003, employment was little changed in January. The unemployment rate was also unchanged at 7.4%.
Business Conditions Survey: Manufacturing industries
Manufacturers were cautiously optimistic regarding the outlook for the first quarter of 2004, after being dealt a series of economic blows in 2003, as a result of SARS, mad cow disease and a major power blackout.
Gross domestic product by industry
Gross domestic product (GDP) remained essentially unchanged in November 2003. For the first 11 months of the past year, GDP was up 1.8% over the same period in 2002.
Payroll employment, earnings and hours
The average weekly earnings of payroll employees increased slightly in November 2003 to $693.37 (+$2.00). The new level is up 0.9% from November 2002.
The estimated number of Canadians receiving regular Employment Insurance benefits in November 2003 was 571,310, down 1.4% from October of the same year.
Information and communication technology use: Are small firms catching up?
Small enterprises have reduced the gap between themselves and large enterprises in the use of basic technology such as PCs, e-mail and Internet. However, the next challenge will be to close new gaps that have appeared with advanced technology.
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