HIGHLIGHTS OF THE WEEK
- Domestic data took a backseat to this week’s developments out of the oval office, where several executive orders were signed by President Donald Trump. Markets cheered on the approval of the Keystone XL and Dakota Access pipelines, but were less thrilled about the administration’s withdrawal from the TPP and signal to open negotiations on NAFTA.
- Data out of the U.S. was somewhat less inspiring, with several misses in December following very strong prints in the prior month. The most noteworthy release, U.S. fourth quarter GDP, fell shy of expectations, but nonetheless painted a picture of a solid domestic demand, with consumer spending growing by 2.5%.
- Next week will be much more exciting, with the FOMC convening for their first meeting of the year. Additionally, a slew of first-tier economic data will be released, including the highly anticipated employment report due out next Friday.
Of the many executive orders signed by U.S. President Donald Trump this week, one could prove meaningful for Canada - reopening the request to build the Keystone Pipeline.
- If approved, the pipeline could be a positive for Canadian economic growth, whereas the re-opening of NAFTA provides a bit more uncertainty and downside risk.
- Communication suggests that renegotioating NAFTA is on the docket. However, with NAFTA still in place, the near-term outlook for the Canadian economy remains upbeat, particularly as strong underlying momentum in the U.S. consumer will help boost Canadian exports. As such, despite the rhetoric around NAFTA, markets and businesses remained relatively upbeat in Canada.