The Canadian dollar continues to show little movement this week. Currently, the pair is trading at 1.2424, down 0.12% on the day. On the release front, there are no Canadian events. In the US, Consumer Confidence is expected to rise to 123.2 points. As well, President Trump will deliver his State of the Union address before Congress. On Wednesday, there are a host of key indicators in the US, led by ADP Nonfarm Employment Change. The Federal Reserve will release a monetary policy statement, with the markets expecting the benchmark rate to remain unchanged at a range between 1.25%-1.50%.
The Federal Reserve will release a rate statement on Wednesday, the final one under Janet Yellen’s tenure. It’s a virtual certainty that the Fed will leaves rates unchanged this time around, although it’s likely that the Fed will raise rates by a quarter-point at the March meeting. Yellen will make way for Jerome Powell, who takes over as chair in early February. Powell is expected to hold the course on monetary policy, which was marked by small, incremental interest rates in order to keep the US economy from overheating.
The markets have become accustomed to GDP releases above 3.0% in the US, so Advance GDP for Q4 was disappointing. The reading of 2.6% fell short of the estimate of 3.0%. The economy grew 2.3% in 2017, compared to 1.6% in 2016. Growth in Q4 was affected by stronger consumer spending, which led to a surge in imports. At the same time, the increase in consumer spending also boosted inflation, as the personal consumption expenditures index, which the Fed prefers to use, rose 1.9% in the fourth quarter, up from 1.3% in Q3. Meanwhile, the US manufacturing sector is booming, as durable goods orders in December hit 2.9%, crushing the estimate of 0.6%. This was the highest gain in six months, and helped make 2017 a banner year. Durable good orders increased 5.8% in 2017, the sharpest expansion since 2011.