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Greater Niagara Chamber of Commerce

Daily Update: May 16, 2022

Consumer confidence tumbles in Canada as housing market reverses, Manufacturing sales up for 6th month running, and more.

In this edition:

Consumer confidence tumbles in Canada as housing market reverses
Manufacturing sales up for 6th month running
Building material and supply sales lead wholesale growth
Trudeau government stands firm on new dairy rules


Consumer confidence tumbles in Canada as housing market reverses

Canadian consumer confidence recorded its sharpest weekly decline since the depths of the pandemic, with inflation and a deteriorating outlook for housing weighing on sentiment.

The Bloomberg Nanos Canadian Confidence Index, a measure of sentiment based on weekly polling, dropped to 54.3 last week, the lowest reading since December 2020. The 1.8-point decline is the largest one-week slump in the index since April 2020.

The numbers suggest the combination of rising prices, higher rates and the war in Ukraine is starting to weigh on consumers.

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Manufacturing sales up for 6th month running

Manufacturing sales rose 2.5% to $70.2 billion in March, the sixth consecutive monthly increase. Sales rose in 16 of 21 industries, led by the petroleum and coal (+9.1%), primary metal (+6.5%), paper (+9.3%), and chemical (+3.3%) product industries. Meanwhile, the machinery industry posted the largest decline (-4.9%).

On a quarterly basis, sales rose 6.5% in the first quarter of 2022, the seventh consecutive quarterly gain and the largest increase since the third quarter of 2020.

Sales in constant dollars were unchanged in March, indicating that the entire increase in current dollar sales was driven by higher prices as the Industrial Product Price Index rose 4.0%. Quarterly sales in volume terms increased 1.4% in the first quarter of 2022.

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Building material and supply sales lead wholesale growth

Sales of building material and supplies rose 3.8% in March to $14.1 billion, the fifth increase in the past six months. The gains in the subsector reflect ongoing strength in the housing industry in the United States. Housing starts in the United States rose 0.3% in March to their highest level in more than five years (US Census Bureau Report), providing a boost to Canadian exports of forestry products and building and packaging materials, which together rose 2.9% in March.

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Trudeau government stands firm on new dairy rules despite anger from U.S. milk lobby

The federal government is pushing ahead with changes to dairy import rules despite protests from the U.S. milk and cheese industry.

Trade Minister Mary Ng said Canada will roll out a new system to manage who’s allowed to import duty-free dairy from the United States, after an international dispute-resolution panel ruled the old system violated the Unites States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA). But no one on either side of the border seems to believe the new rules will do anything to change how much American milk and cheese makes it past Canada’s tariff wall.

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Reading Recommendations

Balancing Autonomy and Structure for Remote Employees

Harvard Business Review

As major companies like Google and Apple have begun mandating a return of all employees to the office for a certain number of days per week, the debate about flexibility and autonomy continues to develop. More organizations are taking a firm stance on where they feel their employees should work, once again casting the spotlight on the question of how much say employees should have in determining their own work arrangement — whether they should be able to decide where and when they work, or whether their organization should make that decision for them.

Click here to read more.


The Election Section

Niagara poll tracker

Chart by Visualizer

Provincial poll tracker

Chart by Visualizer

The 338Canada project is a statistical model of electoral projections based on opinion polls, electoral history, and demographic data.

GNCC election platform

The GNCC asks that the next Government of Ontario financially support recovery and growth by offering investment such as a second round of the Investment in Culture and Infrastructure Program (ICIP) to allow venues and business premises to retrofit for greater public safety. Keeping safe and avoiding further restrictions while COVID remains pandemic can be greatly assisted with air cleaning and filtration and interior remodeling, but businesses will need assistance to accomplish this.

Click here to read the full platform.


Through the Daily Updates, the GNCC aims to deliver important business news in a timely manner. We disseminate all news and information we feel will be important to businesses. Inclusion in the Daily Update is not an endorsement by the GNCC.


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