BC adds 5600 jobs in December, economists chew over BoC rate hike

RBC was among banks that confirmed it was moving up its rate hike forecast

RBC was among banks that confirmed it was moving up its rate hike forecast

"Another ridiculously strong employment report that is marked by over 150,000 new jobs in two months gives the (Bank of Canada) full reason to look through a transitory soft patch in the economy", Derek Holt, vice-president of Scotiabank Economics, wrote in a note to investors.

The economy added more than 422,000 jobs in 2017, with the gains driven by over 394,000 new full-time positions.

"Today's figures should be massive catalysts for the Canadian dollar" said Nick Exarhos, a senior economist at CIBC Capital Markets, who also expects the central bank to raise rates this month and said the numbers could help push up short-term interest rates in Canada.

That brought Canada's unemployment rate to 5.7 per cent in December, down from 5.9 per cent the month before, to reach its lowest mark since comparable data became available in 1976.

The agency said the increase was due to more people searching for work, with the number of people in the labour force increasing by 8,100 to 607,200.

Death toll in terrorist attack in Kabul rises to 20 people
In December alone IS claimed three attacks that killed dozens of civilians. Kabul has suffered repeated suicide attacks in recent weeks.

As of the end of 2017, it stood at 5.9 per cent, compared to 7.1 per cent by the end of 2016. The jobless rate in Windsor fell to 6.1 per cent from 6.3 per cent, with an increase in employment and labour force.

Still, Kavcic remains a little bit hesitant to predict that a rate increase at the January 17 policy meeting is a sure thing.

Unemployment in the Red Deer region edged up to 5.5 per cent last month. "We're going to wait to see what the Business Outlook Survey says", he added in an interview. Its benchmark interest rate sits at 1 percent. Quebec's unemployment rate fell 0.5 percentage points to 4.9 per cent, while Alberta's dropped 0.4 percentage points to 6.9 per cent.

In separate data, Canada's trade deficit in November widened to C$2.54 billion as both exports and imports benefited from increased activity in the automotive industry.

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