HIGHLIGHTS OF THE WEEK
• Moody’s and Standard and Poor’s took the unusual steps of placing U.S. government debt on a downgrade review. While a deal on the debt ceiling remains the most likely scenario, it is not a sure thing.
• Europe’s sovereign debt crisis entered a new and alarming phase this week, as markets shifted their focus to highly indebted Italy.
• In Bernanke’s testimony to Congress this week, the Chairman revealed that the evolution of Fed policy remains as deeply data dependent as ever.
• This week’s economic data showed that Canada is emerging from the economic lull hit in the second quarter. Exports rose 1.2% in the May, the Bank of Canada outlook survey also showed that Canadian businesses remained relatively upbeat about future demand prospects and housing activity started the third quarter off strongly.
• All said, the Canadian economy is expected to grow by a healthier pace of 2.8% in the second half of 2011, following growth of 1.0% in the second quarter.
• Looking ahead to next week’s Bank of Canada meeting, we believe that the recent positive economic developments will not push the Central Bank off the sidelines. Rather, the Bank of Canada is likely to cite growing international risks as reasons to keep rates low through the rest of the year.
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