OTTAWA, April 3, 2014 /CNW/ - The Conference Board of Canada's Composite Leading Index increased 0.2 percent in February 2014, matching the gains in the
previous two months.
"The sources of growth in the Canadian economy continued to shift from
household demand to exports," said Pedro Antunes, Deputy Chief Economist . "However, with business investment firmly
stuck in neutral, this shift has not been enough to lift overall
Five of the ten components in the Composite Leading Index increased in
Commodity prices rose in February for the first time in five months.
After five consecutive monthly declines, claims for Employment Insurance
increased by 0.9 per cent in February.
Growth in the monthly indicator has slowed from a rate of 0.4 percent in
September 2013. Five of the ten components increased, and five
Most of the components related to the household sector posted declines.
In particular, labour market conditions deteriorated. After five
consecutive monthly declines, claims for Employment Insurance increased
by 0.9 per cent in February.
Demand for Canadian exports is improving and commodity prices rose 0.4
percent in February, the first increase in five months. Almost all of
the increase reflected higher energy prices, which reached their
highest level since April 2011.
"Despite the prospect of higher prices and profits, business investment
intentions for 2014 have stalled. While the energy sector continues to
break records, firms in Ontario and Quebec trimmed their investment
intentions, particularly for finance and retailing," said Philip Cross,
author of the Index.
This is the third 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:
Brent Dowdall, Media Relations, Tel.: 613- 526-3090 ext. 448