The Canadian dollar is lower for a third straight day. In the European session, USD/CAD is trading at 1.2984, up 0.29% on the day.
Markets brace for soft Canadian retail sales
The US dollar has rebounded this week against the majors, including the Canadian dollar. USD/CAD is on the verge of breaking above the 1.30 line, which has held firm since July 18th. A weak Canadian retail sales report later today could send the Canadian dollar into 130-territory. Retail sales for July is expected to slow to 0.3% MoM, down sharply from the 2.2% gain in June. Core retail sales is projected to drop to 0.9% MoM, down from 1.9%.
Canadian consumers have been hit hard by the cost-of-living crisis, and a natural response has been to cut down on spending. This could prove a major headache for the economy, as domestic demand is a key driver of growth. Canada’s inflation has been heading toward double-digits, but as in the US, inflation dropped in July. Canada’s CPI slowed to 7.6% YoY, down from 8.1% in June, which marked a 40-year high. However, CPI common, a core CPI indicator, rose to 5.5% YoY in July, up from 5.3% in June. This is the Bank of Canada’s preferred gauge and means that the BoC, like the Fed, is not planning any U-turns in policy. We’ll have to wait for additional data to determine if headline inflation has peaked or whether the July release was a one-time blip. Even if inflation is easing, it is expected to fall very slowly, which means that consumers will feel the economic pain for some time to come.
The BoC meets again next month, and the markets are expecting a 50 basis point increase, with a 25% of a 75bp hike. In July, the central bank surprised the markets with a super-size 100bp increase, the first G-7 country to deliver such a large rate hike in the post-Covid era.
- There is resistance at 1.3040 and 1.3131
- USD/CAD has support at 1.2909 and 1.2818