Friday, November 27, 2009

Amazon’s supply chain

The task of shipping millions of parcels each day is no small feat. has the unique distinctions of shipping millions of parcels during the Christmas shopping season.  In UK, the peak was observed at 1.4 million shipments on December 08. The Financial Times carries the details:

At its peak last year, Amazon’s UK operations dispatched 1m items on one day. Orders peaked at 1.4m items on Monday, December 8. Amazon expects another “cyber Monday” peak this December.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Immigrants in Canada earn less than locals

The Globe and Mail recently highlighted a study by Statistics Canada that shows that recent  immigrants earned less than equally qualified locals doing the same job. However, the study indicated that those immigrants who have spent over 10 years in Canada have been able to narrow the earnings gap. The detailed study could be downloaded by clicking HERE.

I have leafed through the study and discovered that the difference in wage is not corrected for other mitigating factors. The differences have not been tested statistically and the wage differences are not determined in a regression-type model. This is a serious limitation of the study because it does not allow us the ceteris paribus inferences.

For instance, the study has found a $2.30 difference in the hourly wage between immigrants and non-immigrants.  However, if one were to control for factors other than education, which are instrumental in determining a person's wage, i.e.  personal drive, communication abilities, familiarity with the industry and working culture, productivity, would one have observed the same wage difference as observed in tabulations reported in the study?

Irrespective of the abovementioned caveats, the study tabulates wage differences and offers interesting comparisons, and is of great value for a debate on this critical issue.

Statistics Canada reported the following:

Wage-related indicators

In 2008, the average hourly wage of a Canadian-born employee in the core working-age group of 25 to 54 was $23.72, compared with $21.44 for an immigrant worker, a difference of $2.28 an hour. A gap existed regardless of when the immigrants landed. However, it was widest, at $5.04, for immigrants who had landed within the previous five years.

The gap in wages between immigrant workers and their Canadian-born counterparts was particularly wide among those with university degrees. Immigrants aged 25 to 54 with a university degree earned $25.31 an hour on average in 2008, about $5 an hour less than their Canadian-born counterparts.

In terms of wage distribution, the proportion of immigrants earning less than $10 an hour in 2008 was 1.8 times higher than for Canadian-born workers. At the other end of the spectrum, a lower share of immigrants earned $35 or more an hour than the Canadian born.

Union coverage among immigrant employees aged 25 to 54 in 2008 was lower than the Canadian born regardless of period of landing. The share of Canadian-born employees with union coverage was nearly 1.5 times higher than for immigrants as a whole, and 1.3 times higher than for immigrants who had been in Canada for over 10 years.

Over-qualification for the job

In 2008, 42% of immigrant workers aged 25 to 54 had a higher level of education for their job than what was normally required, while 28% of Canadian-born workers were similarly over-qualified. Regardless of period of landing, immigrants had higher shares of over-qualification.

More than 1.1 million workers aged 25 to 54 who had a university degree were working in occupations whose normal requirements were at most a college education or apprenticeship. The share of immigrants with degrees who were over-qualified was 1.5 times higher than their Canadian-born counterparts.

Over-qualification was particularly prevalent among university-educated immigrants who landed within five years before the survey. Two-thirds worked in occupations that usually required at most a college education or apprenticeship.

Modest sales recorded in September 09

Retail sales in Canada totalled $34.9 billion in September ’09. This amounted to a 1% increase over August 09. The retail sales, excluding the automobile sector, rose by 1.1%, which is the largest gain recorded since January 09.

However, when compared with September 08, retail sales declined by 3.3%.  The automotive sector declined by 11% followed by furniture and home furnishings at -7.9% and clothing/accessories stores at –4.7%. Food and beverage stores reported an increase of 3.6% in September 09 against September 08. Pharmacy and personal care stores registered a 5.9% increase in sales for the same time period.

The recent retail sales suggest that Canadians have continued spending on essentials and staples, but have tightened their purse strings on discretionary spending. Thus, pharmacies and grocers are doing well, and furniture stores are struggling in Canada.

Source: Statistics Canada.c091123a[1]

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

US home prices slowing their ascent

The US home prices have slowed down the increase in home prices observed from June to August 2009 when the home prices appreciated by 1% each month. The increase in home prices was much modest at 0.3% in September 2009. Compare to the peak observed in May 2006, the US home prices in September 2009 were still 9.6% lower than the 2006 record highs.



Recession hardly makes a dent in transport energy consumption

The recession in 2008, it appears, has hardly made a dent in the nation’s transport energy consumption. While Canada suffered hundreds of thousands of job losses in 2008, the decline in transport energy consumption was merely 3.5%.

At 31% of the final energy demand, the transport sector is the largest user of energy in Canada. Comparatively, the energy use by the industrial sector, second largest user in Canada, fell  by 5.9%.  This presents an interesting comparison: the decline in the industrial sector energy consumption was almost twice that of the reduction in the transport energy consumption.

Overall energy consumption in Canada in 2008 (7,793 petajoules)  declined by 2.1% when compared with 2007 (7,958 petajoules). “One petajoule equals roughly the amount of energy required to operate the MontrĂ©al subway system for one year” Statistics Canada.

On a positive environmental note, energy generated using fossil fuels (natural gas, refined petroleum products and coal) declined by 3.6%.

Other salient comparisons include:

“Crude oil production decreases

Canadian companies produced 159 million cubic metres of crude oil in 2008, down 1.2% over 2007. (A cubic metre contains 1 000 litres).

Alberta's oil sands accounted for 70% of total crude oil production in 2008, up from 43% in 2007 and well above the 28% in 2000. The oil sands produced 192 000 cubic metres of oil a day in 2008.

Exports of crude oil, primarily to the United States, increased 1.6% from 2007. According to the United States Energy Information Administration, Canada remained the leading export country to the United States, ahead of both Mexico and Saudi Arabia.

Canadian crude oil now represents 20% of total US demand for imported crude oil. These exports account for more than 65% of all Canadian production. The US Midwest is the most significant market for Western Canadian crude oil.

“Modest decrease in natural gas production

Natural gas production fell 4.9% in 2008. At the same time, natural gas drilling declined by 16%.

Natural gas exports to the United States fell to 3 941 petajoules in 2008, down 4.0% from 4 106 petajoules in 2007. This decrease reflected increases in natural gas production in the United States.”

(Statistics Canada)

UI recipients rise in September

[Data and maps in this blog are obtained from Statistics Canada]

While those employed in the financial industry are coming up with the spending plans for the bonuses heading their way in December, it appears that not all in Canada share they good fortune. The latest figures for the unemployment insurance suggest that the number of UI recipients suddenly rose by 54,300 (7.1%) in September 2009 after falling for two months preceding September.


The total number of UI recipients in September 2009 reached 818,000, which is 64% higher than the one observed in October 2008. The largest increase in UI recipients was observed in the three largest English speaking provinces namely, Ontario, British Columbia, and Alberta.

The number of beneficiaries increased in Ontario by 9% in September 09. The unemployment losses in Ontario are driven by the losses in the manufacturing sector. The increase in Alberta was even more drastic at 25%. It appears that Alberta’s petro economy has run out of steam.

I am wondering how this increase in UI recipients reconciles with the  increase in housing prices and volume of trades in the resale housing market in Canada. Where are the funds and confidence coming from if the job market remains volatile.

The spatial distribution of change in UI recipients for urban Ontario and Quebec is presented below where the colour coded map presents the percentage change in number of people receiving Employment Insurance regular benefits, September 2008 to September 2009, by Census Metropolitan Areas (CMAs) and Census Agglomerations (CAs).


Rest of Canada presents the following outlook.


Sunday, November 22, 2009

Mattel unveils a veiled Barbie! Whatever it takes to make a sale

Finally, Barbie adorns a burka. The iconic doll that has sold millions over the years, has embraced hijab and burka. From headscarf to an all engulfing burka, the doll is at last Sharia-compliant!

Is it a marketing ploy to attract the middle class in Muslim countries or is it that the age has finally caught up with Barbie, who has turned 50 this year. One can't tell if the burka in the photograph below is covering a pigment-corrected Barbie or her long-time boy friend Ken.


Photograph by Daily Mail

The makers of Barbie, Mattel, is supporting the new Burka Barbie, which is a creation of an Italian designer Eliana Lorena, and was unveiled in Florence, Italy, as part of a charity auction organized by Sotheby’s.

Sotheby’s has promoted the new Barbie as wearing a “traditional Islamic dress.” This amounts to generalization of the highest order. I can see Tarek Fatah (ban the burka campaign) spinning in his chair!

There is no such thing as a traditional Islamic dress for the 500-million plus Muslim women. The Muslim cultures support diversity in languages, cuisines, customs, and yes dresses. One does not see branding of the traditional Islamic food or the traditional Islamic language. Why should then be there such a thing as the traditional Islamic dress. There is certainly no similar artificial construct that applies to men’s clothing.

The notion of a traditional Islamic dress is indeed a false one. Languages, cuisines, and clothes are influenced largely by culture and to an extent by religion. While Islam may dictate what meet is kosher or Halal, it certainly does not mention what spices to use and how long to cook. Similarly Islam suggests modesty in clothing, but does not dictate concealing one’s face.

Hiding behind the notion of a “traditional Islamic dress” is a not so covert attempt by the Arabs to export their cultural norms to non-Arab Muslims. Iranians try to do the same with Shiite Muslims. The bundling of culture and religion is almost akin to two for the price of one: one embraces Islam and gets the Arab culture for free.

The South Asian Muslims living in India, Pakistan, and Bangladesh account for 50% of all Muslims. Add to this large number the Indonesians and Malaysians, and we have 75% of the billion-plus Muslims who are culturally non Arab when it comes to language, food, and dress, among others. The non-Arab Muslims have been practicing their Islamic faith and celebrating their non-Arab cultures for centuries. Their dresses, foods, and languages are part of the global cultural heritage. Why should one deny this diversity by throwing a cloak over it?

The burka has served as an instrument to oppress women in many societies, many of those are Muslim. The burka hides the individual’s identity. We don’t recognize other humans by their silhouette, smell or voice. Our faces are indeed our primary ID. We even communicate without words using our eyes, eyebrows, and wrinkles on our forehead. A burka even denies one the right to communicate with a smile.

It is sad to see that the West continues to practice doublespeak: banning burkas in France and showcasing burka-clad Barbie in Italy. One should not let short-term profiteering dictate one’s decisions that may have a long-term adverse impact. The Burka Barbie may register some additional sales in the Muslim countries. However, it will be at a cost of legitimizing women’s exploitation in many societies. This is too big a cost for short-term profits.

I am certainly not advocating a ban on burkas. This amounts to a dictatorship and exploitation of a different kind. I am advocating the need to educate young Muslim men and women about their rights and responsibilities. How can the young Muslim women, which are part of the demographic dividend in the Muslim world where younger cohorts constitute the majority of the population, be enfranchised politically, socially, and economically is a challenge that the Muslims have to embrace now than later.

Also, the decision to wear a burka or otherwise should also be a woman’s decision alone. President Sarkozy of France, Tarek Fatah of ban the burka fame in Canada, and I should not be the dictators.


Photography by

Friday, November 20, 2009

Top Canadian travel websites

According to Hitwise, an internet market research firm, Expedia Canada is the most popular travel website in Canada followed by Surprisingly, Canada’s largest airline, Air Canada, lagged behind in the internet traffic to that of the WestJet.


The traffic up until October 2009, however, paints a different picture. In fact, a comparison of the traffic to the Canadian travel websites reveals that is a runner up to the leader, which attracts traffic to both and  The traffic to competes at equal footing with


When one takes a closer look at the traffic recorded in the October, one finds a peaking on Wednesdays in the traffic to Air Canada's website:


The traffic data for November 2009 are not available from Google Trends. It will be interesting to compare the data against HitWise once Google updates the database to see why Air Canada has scored poorly with HitWise.

Since West Jet is an Alberta-based airline, it carries more clout and prominence in Alberta. Whereas Air Canada being the national flag carrier, it should have a more Canada-wide appeal where the traffic to its website should be proportionate to provincial populations such that the highest traffic to be generated by the most populace province, i.e., Ontario and the least traffic be generated by the least populace province, Prince Edward Island. This bears out in the following graphics where traffic to the WestJet website is disproportionately high in Alberta.

Air Canada

West Jet

image image

Notice that though Quebec is the second most populace province, it lags behind the third most populace province, British Columbia. The discrepancy is explained partially by the fact that French is the dominant language spoken in Quebec and Internet usage is different in Quebec than it is in the rest of Canada.

Meanwhile, the cyclical nature of tourism based travel in Canada is presented to the graph below.  Canadians travel primarily during the Christmas season and summer. The graph below reveals the rising trend as of late 2006 to mid 2008.  However, owing partially to the recession blues, the interest in tourism based travel has been down this year, apart from a peak in July 2009 when the interest in travel improved by 10%, keeping in line with the summer travel interest observed in the previous years.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Foreigners buying more Canadian equity


Foreigners invested $14 billion in Canadian equities in September 2009. On the other hand, Canadians shrank their international portfolios by $5 billion.  A detailed breakdown is available from Statistics Canada.

The highest rate of foreign investment was observed in May 2009 when Canadian bonds became the darling of foreign investors. The story in September 2009 was different where the biggest chunk in investment is in the equity markets.

Canadian securities have been in vogue as of late. Even the Federal Reserve Chairman, Ben Bernanke, had expressed faith in the Canadian economy by personally investing in the Canadian Government bonds. He however sold the Canadian government bonds first in July 2008 and later in November 2008.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Consumer prices rising in Canada

The latest figures for consumer prices in September 2009 suggest a sustained upward climb, albeit at a very slow pace.  On a year by year basis, the consumer prices in Canada increased by 0.1% in October 2009.  The increase in consumer prices excluding energy costs was much higher at 1.4% in October 2009 when compared with the ones in October 2008.

The latest figures also show that the decline in transportation fuel costs has also slowed down in 2009 compared to the steep decline in 2008 (see the figure below). Once the fuel costs stabilize or begin to increase, the rate of increase in consumer prices in Canada will likely increase.


The latest figures from the housing market suggest an early heating up of the market in Canada in the unlikely month of November.  The impact is more pronounced in Ontario where housing prices have certainly experienced a sudden increase along with an increase in the number of transactions.  The intensity in new home sales in Ontario may partly be driven by the fact that new home purchases would become more expensive by July 2010 when the new harmonized sales tax comes into effect.  Currently, new home purchases are subject to the GST and are exempted from provincial sales taxes.

The increase in the price and volume of existing home sales is probably driven by the consumers who have stayed on the sidelines through most of 2008 - 2009, waiting for the economy to improve and the prices to fall down further.  Now that the housing prices are no longer falling, consumers are convinced that the market has had hit the rock bottom, and are therefore willing to invest in the housing markets.  At the same time, historically low interest and mortgage rates are making initial purchases and mortgage payments extremely affordable.

With the increase in transportation fuel costs and the likely increase in the retail sales volume in the Christmas season, we are likely to see an increase in consumer prices in Canada, which is likely to have a positive impact on the size of our economy.


Recession: are we in, are we out?

Canadian manufacturing sales have been lower than expected in September, according to the latest data reported by  On a positive note, the inventory/shipment ratio declined to 1.46 in September from 1.63 in January.

At the same time, the real estate market has picked up significantly suggesting that the buyers are coming out of slumber and are taking risks.  A rapid recovery in the real estate markets is giving heartburns to some industry watchers who are speculating about another property bubble  in the making.

While the economic indicators are presenting a mix bag for Canada, it is safe to say that the worst is over for Canada and if we are not already recovering, we are certainly on the path to recovery in Canada.

Monday, November 16, 2009

The face of jobless in the US

The New York Times has recently revealed the face of joblessness in the United States.  Whereas the average unemployment rate averaged at 8.6% for all men and women in the period ending September 2009, the unemployment rate for Black men and women was significantly higher at 13.9%. Furthermore, the unemployment rate for Black men averaged at 16.3%, almost twice more than the national average.

The unemployment rate for Black men without high school diplomas averaged at 31% against 18.4% for White men with similar education.  Hispanic males without high school diploma fared better than the Black and White men with unemployment rate of 14.6%.  Even more alarming is the unemployment rate among Black males aged 15 to 24 years old who lacked a high school diploma.  One in two such males was unemployed.

The unemployment rate for White and Hispanic females without high school diploma was the same at 16.3%.  However, the unemployment rate for Black females without a high school diploma was significantly higher at 23.4%.

While the U.S. president is lecturing China on human rights and wrongs, it would be prudent to first fix the disparities at his home where the haves and have-nots are divided along the racial lines.


US retail sales improve

Is the worst finally over in retail for the U.S. markets?  The latest figures for retail sales suggests that sales improved in October by 1.4% after a more than expected steep decline of 2.3% in September 2009.  The spending on core retail sales, that is after excluding automobile and gasoline sales, has also seen an increase in October.



The automobile sales in the United States have been influenced by the cash for clunkers program.  In October 2009, automobile sales jumped 7.4%.  However, in the month before auto sales were down by 14.3%.  The decline was directly result of forward buying influenced by the cash for clunkers program, which caused an increase in auto sales in August by 10.2%.

It appears that the key subsectors in retail markets including clothing and accessories, general merchandise, Electronics &Appliances, and non-store retailers, have all experienced an increase in sales in October 2009.  This certainly bodes well for the Christmas shopping season in 2009.

Prof. Richard Florida resolves the urban transportation problem

Not since the seminal work by Meyer, Kain, and Wohl on the Urban Transportation Problem, which was published by the RAND Corporation in 1965, has any one been so insightful as Professor Richard Florida of the University of Toronto.  In his blog hosted by the Atlantic,  Professor Florida has found the drive alone mode to be negatively correlated with the following demographics, among others, at the State imagelevel in the United States:

  • Immigrants
  • Gays
  • High-income households
  • University educated individuals

Prof. Florida’s analysis provides us with enough insights to formulate urban transport policy recommendations to discourage drive-alone mode in the United States. These are:

  1. Make people richer. Get rid of the low-income and working class people because they drive alone and cause congestion.
  2. Import rich immigrants because indigenous populations drive alone and cause congestion.
  3. Get rid of the under-educated or send them to the University because highly educated do not drive alone.
    1. Also, increase course offerings in gay and lesbian studies at the universities.
  4. Lastly, instead of focussing on the interaction between the built form and travel behaviour, public policy should concentrate on personality traits because those influence travel behaviour more.
    1. Therefore, as a public policy measure to discourage drive alone mode, one should discourage conscientiousness and advocate carelessness.

On a serious note, I have the following concerns about the professor’s analysis:

  • Prof. Florida  is trying to find correlations at the State level by mixing urban and non urban commuting in the United States where transit ridership outside of large cities is almost negligible. Therefore any correlation between drive alone mode and demographic traits observed at the State level is almost meaningless.
  • Spurious Correlations: Given the strong interaction between the built form (population and employment densities) and the mode of travel, any correlation found between other demographic traits would be influenced by the built form, which acts as a confounding factor.
    • A typical example of this error is demonstrated by the positive correlation between drownings in city’s swimming pools and ice cream sales.  Obviously, it would be erroneous to conclude that an increase in ice cream sales causes an increase in drownings. In fact, the heat wave (confounding factor) is behind the increase in both drownings and ice cream sales.


Prof. Florida’s blog is reproduced below:

Oct 9 2009

Culture / Media

Driving Alone - A Quick and Dirty Analysis

Earlier this week Catherine Rampell posted this map over at Economix. It shows the percentages of workers who drove to work alone by state and is based on U.S. Census data.


D.C. has the lowest rate - a fact which was not lost on D.C. blogging circles. NY did well too.  The worst performers were Alabama, Tennessee, and Ohio, where about eight in 10 workers drive alone -  more than double that of D.C.

With the help of my colleague Charlotta Mellander, we took a quick look at some factors that might be associated with this geographic pattern. It's not an exhaustive list: We examined some key economic factors like income and economic output, human capital and the creative class, and psychological ones like happiness, stress, and personality. We removed D.C. from the analysis because it was such an extreme outlier. We did not develop or run any serious multivariate analysis - just simple correlations, or associations, between variables.

Still the findings point to some reasonably clear patterns.
Income and Economic Output: The richer the state, the less likely people were to drive alone. Driving alone was negatively correlated with state income levels (-.46) and output per capital (-.41).

Class and Human Capital
: States with higher percentages of college graduates (-.47) and the creative class (-.43) were less likely to have people driving alone. Driving alone was much more likely in states with large working class concentrations (.62).

Professional and Creative Jobs:
Driving alone was less likely in states with high concentrations of virtually every type of professional, knowledge-based and creative jobs. But it was least likely in states with large concentrations of artists, designers, and entertainers (-.63), architects and engineers (-.61), scientists (-.56 ), and lawyers (-.55).

Diversity - Immigrants and Gays
: Driving alone was less likely in states with high concentrations of immigrants (-.51) and gays (-.41).

Happiness research tells us that commuting is one of life's least pleasurable activities.  Driving along was negatively associated with state levels of happiness and well-being (-.46) and positively associated with states with higher levels of stress (.29).

Psychologists identify five main personality types. Driving alone was more likely in states with high levels of three of them: extroverts (.29), conscientiousness (.36), and agreeableness (.44). Interestingly, there was no association between driving alone and the two other types - neurotic and openness to experience, which some might say makes it harder to explain New York.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Trading merchandise and cars in Canada


Canadian merchandise exports have risen by 3.5% in September 2009, according to Statistics Canada. Total exports valued at $30.3 billion and imports at $31.2 billion in September 09. Both imports and exports are showing signs of recovery. If the trends continue, Spring 2010 should see an economic recovery along with better weather in Canada.

In the meanwhile, new car sales have continued its upward swing in Canada where September recorded a 1.2% increase in sales reaching a total of 128,415 units.

Even though there has been no cash for clunkers program in Canada, the new car sales have continued their upward stride since January 2009. This is a reflection of relative economic stability in Canada were the demand for consumer durables have experienced growth when the markets were sharking the globe over.

The sales though are much lower than the peak seen earlier in late 2007 / early 2008.


Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Car seats, safety, and Steven Levitt

Are two year or older children restrained by regular car seats safer or equally as safe as the ones restrained by a car seat?  Using data for 45,000 accidents involving fatalities in the United States over the past 30 years, Steven Levitt argues that the $300,000,000 car seat industry has created a demand for a product that is no more safer than a regular seat belt, especially for children over the age of two. Click HERE to retrieve the working paper.

His claims have generated controversy.  Traffic safety experts are in fact playing safe at the moment and are neither refuting nor supporting the claims made by Steven Levitt.  Despite the controversy, Stephen makes a compelling case in support of his conclusions in the following video. Also notice that Steven wonders if policy derived lab tests using dummies should be revised to be based on data from actual crashes.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Manufacturing recession over in the US

While the manufacturing sector in Canada continues to be sluggish, its counterpart in the United States appears to have shaken off the recession blues and is on the road to recovery.  According to the data released by the National Association Of Purchasing Management, the recession in the U.S.  Factory sector is over.

The composite index for the factory sector in October 2009 rose to 55.7, which was the highest level reached since April 2006. 


While the recovery in the U.S.  appears to be on sure footing, the same cannot be said about Canada.  The numbers released just yesterday by Statistics Canada suggested that the price indices for industrial products are still experiencing a decline indicating a lull in the manufacturing sector.


Could this be a tale of two economies, where the economic recovery in the United States ends up bypassing the one in Canada despite the fact that over 75% of Canadian exports are targeted at American markets.

Canadian hoteliers remain pessimistic about the business outlook

Results from a recent opinion poll of Canadian hoteliers reveals pessimism amongst the tourism industry in Canada.  A survey of hoteliers in Canada revealed that 65% hotel owners were pessimistic about the future outlook of the business, whereas only 8% were optimistic about the future outlook of the business.  “Thus, the balance of opinion, or the difference between the two, was –57”%. [Statistics Canada]


On a positive note, the pessimism observed in the current quarter is lower than the one observed in the past two quarters.  The hotel owners believe that vacancy rates will remain high and the room rents would remain low in the near future.

As the recession is slowly on its way out, the discretionary spending for both households and businesses continues to be low in Canada.  This has an adverse impact on travel and tourism industries.  Both businesses and households have reduced their travel budgets and are unlikely to resume spending on travel and tourism in the next few months.

If all goes well, one is likely to believe that the travel and tourism in Canada should be able to recover by summer 2010.  The growth in travel and tourism in Canada is supported to a large extent by visitors from the United States, who are likely to increase their discretionary spending by summer 2010.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Where are we on the recession curve?

Statistics Canada recently reported that the prices for industrial goods and that of raw materials have continued falling in August 2009. Generally, the two prices indices have been on a decline since August 2008.


The decline in these price indices suggest a lull in the demand for goods used in manufacturing. This implies that manufacturing supply chains have yet to generate large demand for raw material, which further suggests that manufacturing may continue to remain sluggish for another six to eight months, depending on the inventory levels.

The US on the other hand is reporting an expansion in the manufacturing sector. In fact, the manufacturing sector in the US reported its best month in October 2009 since April 2006.  Other economies including China and the UK have also experienced expansion in manufacturing. Is Canada lagging behind other G7 economies? If yes, could this be because of a modest Canadian stimulus?