Macro Snapshot — Canadian inflation hits 31-year high; US Mortgage Interest Rates Soar

RIYADH: Canada’s annual inflation rate accelerated in March to 6.7%, one percentage point higher than in February and well above expectations, due to widespread price pressures , Statistics Canada data revealed on Wednesday.

The rate is the highest since January 1991, when it hit 6.9%, and was above the Bank of Canada’s 1% to 3% control range for the 12th consecutive month. Analysts polled by Reuters had forecast inflation to rise to 6.1% in March.

“Prices rose amid continued pricing pressure in Canadian real estate markets, significant supply constraints and geopolitical strife, which affected energy, commodity and agriculture markets. “said Statscan.

The common CPI measure, which the Bank of Canada says is the best indicator of the economy’s performance, rose to 2.8% from a revised rate of 2.7% in February. The trim CPI was 4.7% and the median CPI was 3.8%.

Annual inflation in South Africa hits 5.9%

Consumer price inflation in South Africa rose from 5.7% in February to 5.9% year-on-year in March, data from Statistics South Africa showed on Wednesday, driven mainly by fuel due to rising oil prices due to the war in Ukraine.

The increase in the headline figure was slightly lower than analysts’ forecast for annual inflation of 6%, as food prices, which have also been affected by the Russia-Ukraine conflict, rose slightly less in March than in February .

Monthly consumer inflation in March was 1.0% from 0.6% in February, in line with economists’ forecasts.

The March figures mean inflation remained just within the central bank’s 3% to 6% target range, at a joint five-year high with the December reading.

Excluding energy prices, producer prices rose 14% year-on-year.

Japan’s exports in March increase by 14.7%

Japan’s exports rose 14.7% in March from a year earlier, according to Finance Ministry data released on Wednesday.

That was lower than the 17.5% increase economists expected in a Reuters poll, and followed a 19.1% growth in February.

March imports rose 31.2% year-on-year, against a median estimate of a 28.9% increase.

The trade balance reached a deficit of 412.4 billion yen ($3.19 billion), against a median estimate of a deficit of 100.8 billion yen.

German producer prices at record high

German producer prices rose 30.9% year on year in March, reflecting the effects of war in Ukraine for the first time, data from the Federal Statistics Office showed on Wednesday.

The March figures mark six straight months of increasingly steep increases, driven mainly by rising energy prices, according to the statistics office.

“These results should already contain the first implications stemming from Russia’s attack on Ukraine,” the office said.

The rise in factory gate costs, considered a leading indicator of consumer prices, was the largest since records began in 1949, the statistics office said.

Producer prices jumped 4.9% from the previous month.

Eurozone output rebounds as expected

Eurozone industrial production rebounded as expected in February after a slump in January on stronger production of consumer goods, which offset lower production of energy and capital goods, data shows. published on Wednesday.

The EU’s statistics office Eurostat said industrial production in the 19 countries sharing the euro rose 0.7% month-on-month for a gain of 2.0% year-on-year, rebounding after a decline of 0.7% for the month from 1.5% year-on-year. in January.

Economists polled by Reuters had expected a monthly increase of 0.7% in February and projected an annual increase of 1.5%.

The data largely comes from before the start of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine on February 24 – an event that severely rattled the business climate in March.

US Mortgage Interest Rates

The average interest rate on America’s most popular home loan hit a 12-year high last week and fewer buyers searched for properties, a sign that the Federal Reserve’s aim to cool the housing market could beginning to have an impact, according to data from the Mortgage Bankers Association showed Wednesday.

The average contract rate on a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage rose to 5.2% in the week ended April 15, from 5.13% a week earlier, according to the MBA survey. It was up 2 percentage points from a year ago.

Most of the rise, however, has occurred since the start of the year, prompting the fastest rise in housing finance costs in decades as the Fed abandoned a cautious approach to raise its key rate to the day by day in favor of a faster and more decisive rate. action to reduce persistently high inflation.

China keeps lending benchmark unchanged

China held its benchmark lending rates for business and household loans at their April setting on Wednesday, defying expectations, as Beijing grew more cautious in rolling out easing measures to help a struggling economy. slow-down.

The one-year prime lending rate was maintained at 3.7%, as previously, and the five-year prime rate remained unchanged at 4.6%.

A large majority of 28 traders and analysts polled in a Reuters Snapshot poll this week expect a cut this month. Of these, 11, or 39% of all respondents, predicted a marginal reduction of 5 basis points in both rates.

Most new and existing loans in China are based on the one-year LPR. The five-year rate influences mortgage pricing.

(Contributed by Reuters)

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