- Canadian employment jumps, wage growth falls
- USD/CAD edges lower
The Canadian dollar has climbed higher in the North American session after the release of Canada’s December employment report. In the North American session, USD/CAD is trading at 1.3432, down 0.20%.
Canada’s job growth beats forecast
Canada usually posts employment reports on the same Friday as the US, but had the stage all to itself today, as the US posted its job report last week. The news was good as employment jumped by 37,300 in January, smashing the market estimate of 15,000. The December reading was revised upwards to 12,300 from the initial estimate of just 0.1 thousand. The unemployment rate ticked lower to 5.7%, down from 5.8% in December and below the market estimate of 5.7%. As well, average hourly earnings eased to 5.3% y/y in January, compared to 5.7% a month earlier.
The Bank of Canada will be carefully monitoring the jobs data. Employment growth jumped, which points to a stronger labour market, but at the same time wage growth dropped. Wages are a key driver of inflation and today’s decline will support the BoC continuing to pause and not cut rates until the middle of the year or later. The BoC is content to continue its “higher for longer” stance and let high rates continue pushing inflation lower. The central bank’s top priority remains bringing down inflation to the 2% target, but businesses and consumers, especially homeowners, are groaning under the weight of elevated rates and are looking for some relief from the BoC.
The Federal Reserve continues to push back against rate cut expectations in March. This week, a host of Fed members delivered the message that inflation is heading lower but the Fed remains cautious and isn’t yet ready to lower rates, as the battle against inflation is not yet won. The markets have taken note of the Fed’s pushback and have pared expectations of a rate cut in March to 17%, down from over 70% in December, according to the CME’s Fed Watch tool.
- USD/CAD tested support at 1.3434 earlier. Below, there is support at 1.3392
- 1.3509 and 1.3551 are the next resistance lines