OTTAWA, June 3, 2014 /CNW/ - The Conference Board of Canada's Composite Leading Index, a new economic measure that tracks short-term indicators of the
economy, increased 0.4 per cent in April. But the outlook is mixed —
more promising for exporters, and less so for the labour market and
"The leading indicator points to a continuing shift in the sources of
growth — from domestic spending to exports — but little change in the
overall rate of growth," said Pedro Antunes, Deputy Chief Economist.
Export demand for commodities is the driver behind growth in the
Claims for Employment Insurance had the largest jump in almost three
Five of the ten components increased, and those were mostly related to
export demand for Canada's commodities. Higher resource prices
contributed to an eighth consecutive month of growth in the Toronto
stock market. In addition, the Bank of Canada's commodity price index
posted the largest increase of any component, rising 2.4 percent - its
fastest advance in three years.
"Agricultural prices have led the latest gains in commodities. Wheat
prices in particular received a boost from the uncertain outlook for
exports as a result of political turmoil in the Ukraine," said Philip
Cross, author of the Composite Leading Index for the Conference Board.
Both manufacturing components — new orders, and the average workweek in
factories — were unchanged in the month, while the housing and labour
markets remained a source of weakness. Claims received for Employment
Insurance rose 1.8 percent, the largest jump in almost three years and
the third consecutive monthly increase. The housing index, meanwhile,
retreated for the sixth consecutive month.
This is the fifth release of the Composite Leading Index, which sums up the performance of ten components that track the
short-term course of the economy. The newest of the Conference Board's
macroeconomic indicators, it signals changes in the business cycle
(periods of faster and slower economic growth) approximately six or
seven months in the future. The author, Philip Cross, spent 36 years at
Statistics Canada specializing in macroeconomics.
The Composite Leading Index is published monthly and available to
subscribers of the Conference Board's e-library.
SOURCE: Conference Board of Canada
For further information:
Yvonne Squires, Media Relations, Tel.: 613- 526-3090 ext. 221