The Canadian dollar is unchanged on Monday, after USD/CAD rallied late last week. In the North American session, the pair is trading at 1.3430, unchanged on the day. There are no economic indicators on the schedule. In the U.S., we’ll hear from two FOMC members. On Tuesday, the U.S. publishes building permits and CB consumer confidence.
The Canadian dollar ended the week on a sour note, as soft consumer spending data weighed on the currency. Retail sales fell 0.3% in January, marking a third straight decline. Core retail sales gained a negligible 0.1%, shy of the estimate of 0.2%. There was better news on the inflation front, as CPI posted a sharp gain of 0.7% in January, edging above the forecast of 0.6%. The negative effect of weak oil prices has eased, which could bode well for inflation numbers in the first quarter. Still, the outlook for the Canadian economy is cloudy, with the ongoing global trade war weighing on Canada’s export-reliant economy.
Is a recession in the cards for the U.S. economy? At last week’s policy meeting, the Federal Reserve indicated it had no plans to raise interest rates in 2019 and also lowered its growth forecast for 2019 to 2.1%, down from 2.3% in December. There was more bad news on Friday, as the spread between 3-month and 10-year Treasury notes turned negative for the first time since 2007. This is known as an inverted yield curve, which is considered a recession indicator. All eyes will be on U.S. Final GDP, which will be released on Thursday. If GDP is weaker than expected, investors could lose their risk apetite and the Canadian dollar could lose ground.