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Leading indicators

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November 2009 (Previous release)

The composite leading index rose by 1.3% in November, equalling the largest of its six straight increases. The advance was led by household demand, while the recovery of demand in the United States gave a boost to manufacturing in Canada. Growth was widespread, as for the first time in over two years none of the 10 components declined.

Composite leading indicator

Household spending strengthened across the board. The housing index rose 2.5%, its seventh straight gain. Existing home sales showed renewed vigor after slowing over the summer, while housing starts continued to recover. Consumer demand for furniture and appliances and other durable goods both rose faster than the month before.

The leading indicator of the United States advanced 0.7%, its sixth straight increase. The recovery in housing and financial markets began to seep into the labour market, with a steady drop in initial claims for unemployment and a levelling off of jobs in November.

Manufacturing in Canada continued to improve in response to the gradual upturn in export demand. New orders rose for the second time in four months. The ratio of shipments to inventories increased for the fourth consecutive month, with an upturn in shipments reinforcing a steady decline in inventories.

Services employment increased 0.3%, its first advance in over a year. Business and personal services turned up in unison, symptomatic of the broad-based advance of employment in November.

Available on CANSIM: table 377-0003.

Definitions, data sources and methods: survey number 1601.

This release will be reprinted in the January 2010 issue of Canadian Economic Observer, Vol. 23, no. 1 (11-010-X, free). For more information on the economy, consult the Canadian Economic Observer.

For more information, or to enquire about the concepts, methods or data quality of this release, contact Philip Cross (613-951-9162;, Current Economic Analysis Group.

Table 1

Leading indicators
  June 2009 July 2009 August 2009 September 2009 October 2009 November 2009 Last month of data available
              % change
Composite leading indicator (1992=100) 214.0 215.5 218.4 221.1 222.7 225.7 1.3
Housing index (1992=100)1 102.9 108.4 112.5 117.6 122.5 125.6 2.5
Business and personal services employment ('000) 2,904 2,897 2,892 2,882 2,872 2,883 0.4
S&P/TSX stock price index (1975=1,000) 9,383 9,915 10,345 10,759 10,867 11,082 2.0
Money supply, M1 ($ millions, 1992)2 194,038 196,042 198,320 200,483 203,243 205,862 1.3
US Conference Board leading indicator (1992=100)3 120.0 120.6 121.5 122.6 123.7 124.6 0.7
Average workweek (hours) 36.6 36.7 36.9 37.2 37.3 37.3 0.0
New orders, durables ($ millions, 1992)4 17,882 16,942 18,472 17,882 16,974 18,267 7.6
Shipments/inventories of finished goods4 1.56 1.55 1.56 1.58 1.59 1.61 0.025
Retail trade              
Furniture and appliance sales ($ millions, 1992)4 2,825 2,812 2,807 2,812 2,827 2,849 0.8
Other durable goods sales ($ millions, 1992)4 9,201 9,392 9,446 9,541 9,609 9,729 1.2
Unsmoothed composite leading indicator 218.2 218.9 224.9 225.5 226.1 233.2 3.1
Composite index of housing starts (units) and house sales (multiple listing service).
Deflated by the Consumer Price Index for all items.
The figures in this row reflect data published in the month indicated, but the figures themselves refer to data for the month immediately preceding.
The figures in this row reflect data published in the month indicated, but the figures themselves refer to data for the second preceding month.
Difference from previous month.