US- Foreclosures Gather Steam Again

September 26, 2010

Foreclosure activity — which would certainly be a key spur — is back on the rise, says RealtyTrac:

RealtyTrac  the leading online marketplace for foreclosure properties, today released its U.S. Foreclosure Market Report™ for July 2010, which shows that foreclosure filings — default notices, scheduled auctions and bank repossessions — were reported on 325,229 properties in July, a nearly 4 percent increase from the previous month but a nearly 10 percent decrease from July 2009. One in every 397 U.S. housing units received a foreclosure filing during the month.

“July marked the 17th consecutive month with a foreclosure activity total exceeding 300,000,” said James J. Saccacio, chief executive officer of RealtyTrac. “Declines in new default notices, which were down on a year-over-year basis for the sixth straight month in July, have been offset by near-record levels of bank repossessions, which increased on a year-over-year basis for the eighth straight month.”

Here’s how the worst states look:

chart

Source: Business Insider

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Labour Market – August 10 Gains Driven by Service Sector

September 22, 2010

Employment increased by 36,000 in August. At the same time, the unemployment rate edged up 0.1 percentage points to 8.1%, as more people entered the labour force.  Monthly gains in employment averaged 13,000 in July and August, compared with an average monthly increase of 51,000 during the first six months of the year.

Employment in educational services increased by 68,000 in August, rebounding from a decline of a similar magnitude the previous month. Similar offsetting movements in employment have occurred in this sector in recent summers. There were also increases in professional, scientific and technical services and in natural resources in August.  These gains, however, were dampened by losses in manufacturing; business, building and other support services; and information, culture and recreation.

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RBC Repot – Alberta Forecast

September 20, 2010

Alberta’s economy is gradually recovering from last year’s sharp contraction with real GDP set to grow 3.5 per cent, reversing most of the estimated 4.5 per cent decline in 2009, according to the latest Provincial Outlook report from RBC Economics.

Strong growth in the province is largely credited to energy-related activity. In particular, Alberta’s oil and gas sector is making a comeback amid improved market conditions and recent changes in the province’s royalty regime which have restored Alberta’s royalty competitiveness.

“Strong sales of crown lands for oil and gas development indicate a renewed desire to develop Alberta’s oil and gas resources – land acreage more than doubled during the first seven months of this year and land value climbed nearly eleven-fold,” said Craig Wright, chief economist, RBC. “This rebound signals greater strength in oil and gas drilling going forward.”

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RBC Report – Saskatchewan

September 20, 2010

Saskatchewan’s economy is set to lead the country with a robust growth rate of 6.3 per cent in 2010, up significantly from 3.8 per cent in the previous Outlook, led by a huge increase in potash production, according to a new report by RBC Economics.

Large cutbacks in potash production were a main factor contributing to the contraction in Saskatchewan’s economy in 2009,” said Craig Wright, senior vice-president and chief economist, RBC. “The positive outlook this year reflects recent indications of a sharp reversal of the weakness in potash production, in addition to projected gains in the manufacturing, wholesale and retail trade industries.”

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RBC Report – Ontario Forecast

September 20, 2010

After a burst of activity late last year and early this year, Ontario’s economy will settle down and post an average growth rate of 3.5 per cent in 2010, just slightly stronger than the national average of 3.3 per cent, according to the latest Provincial Economic Outlook report released today by RBC Economics.

“The rapid cooling of Ontario’s housing market since the spring will have a restraining impact on economic growth in the last half of 2010, as will the soft patch into which the U.S. economy recently entered,” said Craig Wright, chief economist, RBC. “Still, the provincial economy will remain solidly supported by continued capital expenditures, steady employment gains and rising consumer spending.”

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RBC Report – Manitoba Forecast

September 20, 2010

“While the rate of growth is slightly lower than most other provinces, there isn’t as much of a need for Manitoba to play catch up as its economy outperformed most other provinces through the recession,” said Craig Wright, senior vice-president and chief economist, RBC. “The modest growth this year has been partly impacted by the winding down of key capital spending projects as well as some weakness in the agricultural sector.”

According to the RBC Economics Provincial Outlook, Manitoba’s economy is benefiting from a solid rebound in its mining and oil and gas extraction sector, which is expected to rise by 6.0 per cent following a 2.7 per cent drop in 2009. Increasing global demand is contributing to the resumption of zinc and gold production from facilities that were previously shuttered.

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RBC Report – BC Forecast

September 20, 2010

Despite global economic uncertainty, British Columbia’s economy is holding its ground with a projected growth rate of 3.3 per cent in 2010, according to a new report released today by RBC Economics.  RBC revised its forecast slightly lower by 0.2 per cent from the previous estimated decline of 2.4 per cent suffered last year.

B.C.’s economy has significantly benefited from stronger commodities markets with softwood lumber, market pulp, coal, natural gas and copper all well above year-ago levels. The resource sector’s recovery has been a big boost to the trade performance of the province, with the value of merchandise exports increasing at a double-digit rate so far this year. RBC does caution, however, that renewed weakness in U.S. residential construction is likely to create further headwind for the B.C. forest products sector and provincial exports in the near term.

According to the RBC Economics Provincial Outlook, B.C.’s economy continues to benefit from government stimulus with sharp increases in capital spending fueling non-residential construction. The housing market, however, has yet to find middle ground. After considerable swings since the end of 2007, the market is moving downward, likely reflecting the unwinding of earlier juiced-up demand from buyers advancing purchases to lock in exceptionally low interest rates and to beat the introduction of new mortgage rules in April and the HST in July.

“The wildcard for B.C.’s economy is the housing market,” added Wright. “We expect housing activity to stabilize during the second half of this year, although poor affordability levels in markets such as Vancouver pose some downside risk.” RBC expects B.C.’s positive outlook to continue through 2011, although some modest slowing of growth is likely to occur, and projects real GDP growth of 3.1 per cent next year.

The RBC Economics Provincial Outlook assesses the provinces according to economic growth, employment growth, unemployment rates, retail sales, housing starts and consumer price indexes.