Review of Economic Statistics — May 17, 2019

Catalogue number: 36-26-0001

Issue number: 2019009

Release date: May 17, 2019

Review of Economic Statistics — May 17, 2019 - Transcript

(The Statistics Canada symbol and Canada wordmark appear on screen with the title: "Review of Economic Statistics — May 17, 2019")

(Background music plays while title card with the text "Review of Economic Statistics" appears on screen.)

Richard Evans: Welcome to the Review of Economic Statistics. I'm Richard Evans.

Guy Gellatly: I'm Guy Gellatly.

(Text on screen below presenters: "Richard Evans, Director General, Industry Statistics. Guy Gellatly, Principal Researcher.")

Richard Evans: We're looking at a four-course meal of indicators today. We have trade and manufacturing for March and inflation and unemployment for April. Let's start with those two first March reports and the trade and the manufacturing.

Guy Gellatly: Richard, the key takeaway: some stronger numbers in terms of manufacturing and trade to close out the quarter in March. Let's look at trade first: exports were up 3.2%, and that's supported by increases in energy products and in autos. Imports up 2.5%, really led by gains in consumer goods. So as a result, the merchandise trade deficit in the month narrowing slightly to $3.2 billion.

(Text on screen below presenters: " Exports increased 3.2% in March as the merchandise trade deficit narrowed to $3.2 billion. ")

Richard Evans: What about manufacturing?

Guy Gellatly: A solid number in terms of manufacturing: sales up 2.1%. Some key contributions there coming from petroleum, autos, aerospace and primary metals.

(Text on screen below presenters: " Manufacturing sales rose 2.1% in March. ")

Richard Evans: Ok, let's move on to those April reports. The inflation report. What did we get overall?

Guy Gellatly: Well, a slight acceleration in that headline rate to 2.0% in April. And that's after being below that 2% mark really for the first three months of the year. So gas prices a factor certainly in April. If you look month over month, March to April, they were up about 10%. However, you look over that 12-month period, gas prices still down from where they were a year ago, although not as down as they've been in recent months.

(Text on screen below presenters: " Consumer price inflation edged up to 2.0% in April.")

Richard Evans: So if you exclude gasoline prices from the picture, what do you get?

Guy Gellatly: Excluding gasoline, consumer prices were up 2.3% year over year.

Richard Evans: Ok, and last but not least: the employment report, where I understand we had some record numbers.

Guy Gellatly: Yup, the overall employment up 107,000 in April. And that marks the third substantial increase in that headline number over the first four months of the year. A lot of that gain really coming on increases among private sector employees and about half —sorry—about two-thirds of the gain in April really reflecting increases in full-time work.

(Text on screen below presenters: " Employment rose 107,000 in April led by gains in Ontario and Quebec.")

Richard Evans: Very interesting.

Guy Gellatly: Youth, as well, a contributing factor in April. And that's generally been the case over the first part of 2019.

Richard Evans: Ok. So if you look at it geographically, what do the provincial breakdowns look like?

Guy Gellatly: Yes, a good portion of that gain really coming from increases in Ontario and in Quebec. Higher part-time employment among youth a factor in Ontario. And in Quebec, the gain was really more concentrated in terms of full-time. A notable number there: their unemployment rate in Quebec came in at 4.9%, and that's the lowest rate that we've seen since comparable data became available all the way back to 1976.

Richard Evans: Very interesting, and what was the overall unemployment rate?

Guy Gellatly: The overall rate edged down to 5.7%.

Richard Evans: Super. Great roundup. Thank you, Guy! And just to finish out, we'd like to draw your attention to two new visualization tools that are now available on our website. They relate to those two reports we just finished talking about: the inflation report and the unemployment report. You'll find the links in their respective dailies.

(Text on screen below presenters: "")

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