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Daily Pulse

Canada

Toronto’s apartment crunch is finally easing as new supply hits the market and the removal of rent controls leads to record units on the drawing board, according to a new report. The vacancy rate rose to 1.5% in the second quarter, the highest since 2015, when research firm Urbanation began tracking the data. Rent increases eased to 7.6% from 10.3% last year, bringing the cost of an average-sized unit of 794 square feet to C$2,475 ($1,894).

Canada and New Zealand are the most vulnerable to a house price correction, based on key indicators used in our housing bubble dashboard. A fresh round of global monetary easing, led by the Federal Reserve and the European Central Bank, also risks inflating house prices in other countries. Australia, Norway, Sweden and the U.K. raise alarm bells on several of our metrics. But it’s house prices in Canada and New Zealand that seem to be on the most unsustainable path on all of our four measures. In these two economies, the cost of housing compared with wages remains among the highest in the world. Still, macro prudential policies, such as reducing mortgage loan-to-value ratios, appear to have deflated bubbles slowly so far.

The Bank of Canada is likely to remain on hold for the remainder of 2019 but cut rates by a quarter point in the first quarter 2020, as uncertainty surrounding global trade may produce a larger deceleration in external demand than the central bank expects, according to Bank of America economists

United-States

President Trump said he was dropping efforts to get a citizenship question on the 2020 census but would seek a tally of citizens and noncitizens by directing federal agencies to share records with such data

The number of Americans applying for first-time unemployment benefits fell last week to the lowest level since April, a sign employers remain reluctant to let workers go in a tight labor market.

With the 10-year bond yield hovering at 2.1%, about 230 stocks or nearly half of the S&P 500 now offers the same or better.

Europe

German efficiency has taken a hit this year as many of the country’s most recognizable corporations have faced setbacks, hurt by a slowing local economy, questionable business decisions and digital troubles.

Asia

China’s export growth slowed in June and imports shrank more than expected, as the continuing trade war with the U.S. and a global slowdown hurt trade. Exports declined 1.3% in June from a year earlier, while imports decreased 7.3%, leaving the trade surplus of $50.98 billion, the customs administration said Friday. Imports from the U.S. slumped 31.4% from a year earlier; exports to the U.S. fell 7.8%

A U.S. interest-rate cut may be on the horizon, but a JPMorgan Asset Management fund is shying away from emerging-market assets. The money manager’s Global Income Fund halved its holdings of developing-nation fixed income and equities to 3% each in the past year, opting instead to buy European corporate junk bonds and Treasuries, according to its co-manager Eric Bernbaum. The $50 billion strategy is skeptical about emerging Asia’s prospects due to the region’s exposure to the U.S.-China trade war.

The author

Michel Doucet

Michel Doucet

Vice-President and Portfolio Manager
After obtaining a Bachelor's degree from the Faculty of Social Sciences at the Université du Québec in Montréal and his Master’s degree, Michel Doucet began his career as a junior economist at the National Bank head office in Montreal. In 1992 he joined the institutional equities and fixed income group at Lévesque Beaubien Geoffrion as an economist and market analyst. Over the years, he has led various projects related to the North American and international economies as well as Canadian public finances. In 1996, the team of institutional economists to which he belongs was ranked first in Canada by Brendan Wood International. In August 1997, Mr. Doucet joined the personal services division of Lévesque Beaubien Geoffrion where he served as an economist, fixed income market analyst and vice president. In 2004, he joined the Desjardins Securities full service team as Vice President. He now occupies the roles of fixed income strategist, economist and portfolio manager. He manages the Securities Portfolio Advisory Group, advisor marketing and distribution of financial planning and insurance.