Friday, March 30, 2012

Market Commentary March 30, 2012

The federal budget didn’t contain any surprises so the markets are taking it in stride.
Canadian GDP expanded slightly in January, but at a slower rate that in December. January saw a 0.1% increase, led by manufacturing. Financials also did well. The construction sector saw a 0.1% decline. December 0.5% growth, revised upward from 0.4%.

In the U.S., personal income increased 0.2% in February while personal consumption expenditures climbed 0.8%. Real disposable income dropped 0.1%.

The confidence of American consumers improved in March. The Reuters/U of M Index climbed nearly 1 point to 76.2, from 75.3 in February. While not optimistic, pessimism is fading in the face of the improving job market in the U.S.

And the Chicago Purchasing Managers Index dropped more than expected in March to 62.2%, down from 64% in February. Expectation had been for 63.6%. Production and new orders rose, but the new orders component decelerated to 63.3% in March from 69.2% in February. Employment fell near 8 percentage points and the prices paid component rose to the highest level since Aug. 2011. Readings over 50% indicate expansion.

We lost our 4 and 5 year mortgage rate specials but still have access to great 3, 7 and 10 year money

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