Take stock – May 19

Eight of 10 components were up as the composite leading index rose 0.8 per cent in April.

Components up as index rises

OTTAWA — Eight of 10 components were up as the composite leading index rose 0.8 per cent in April.

The increase follows a 0.6 per cent gain in March. All three manufacturing components advanced, versus only one the month before, while new orders rebounded 0.5 per cent. The average workweek lengthened for the third time in four months and the ratio of shipments to inventories rose, led by stronger sales. Many of the manufacturing gains reflected stronger exports, and the leading indicator for the United States posted another solid increase, at 0.7 per cent. The housing index (down 0.4 per cent) posted its first decline in six months, as starts slowed while sales increased. Furniture and appliance sales rose 0.4 per cent, but sales of other durable goods fell 0.2.


Canadians travel more

OTTAWA — Travel by Canadian residents to the United States and other countries increased in March compared with February. Statistics Canada reports travel to Canada by residents of overseas countries also increased while travel by U.S. residents declined. Canadian residents took four million trips to the United States in March, edging up 0.1 per cent from February.

Canadian residents took 739,000 overnight trips to overseas countries, up 0.8 per cent from February.

Travel by U.S. residents to Canada declined 1.6 per cent to 1.6 million trips in March.

The agency notes the Canadian dollar rose 1.1 per cent in March to an average monthly value of US $1.02, the highest level since November 2007, while the average price of gasoline in the United States increased 10.9 per cent to $3.56 a gallon. Overseas residents took 353,000 overnight trips to Canada in March, up 2.9 per cent from February.

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