- Canadian retail sales expected to decline
- Fed Chair and two FOMC members will speak later
The Canadian dollar is trading quietly ahead of a key retail sales report later today. USD/CAD is trading in Europe at 1.3484, down 0.13%.
Markets brace for soft Canadian retail sales
The Canadian consumer is holding tightly to their wallet, which is not all that surprising in the current economic climate. Inflation ticked higher in April, rising from 4.3% to 4.4%. Add in high interest rates and it’s not hard to sympathize with consumers who are struggling with the cost of living.
The April retail sales report may show that things are getting worse – headline retail sales is expected to slow to -1.4%, down from -0.2% in March, and the core rate is expected to fall from -0.7% to -0.8%. Not exactly a winning recipe for economic growth. A decline in today’s report could unnerve investors and send the Canadian dollar lower.
The Bank of Canada will not be pleased with the slight increase in inflation, although the core rate, which is a more reliable gauge of inflation trends, did move lower. The BoC meets next on June 7th and there is only one more tier-1 release before the meeting, that being GDP. If retail sales contracts for a second straight month as expected, there will be more support for the BoC to continue to hold rates at 4.50%, where they have been pegged since March.
It’s a bare economic calendar in the US today, with no data releases. The markets will have a chance to focus on Fedspeak, with Jerome Powell and two FOMC members delivering public remarks. Just a few weeks ago, the markets had priced in a pause at the June meeting at over 90%. That has changed to a 66% chance of a pause and a 33% chance of a hike of 25 basis points, according to CME’s FedWatch. That downward revision is due to a consistently hawkish message from the Fed and a solid US economy.
- USD/CAD is testing support at 1.3479. Below, there is support at 1.3394
- 1.3644 and 1.3729 are the next resistance lines