Canada leading indicator edges up 0.1 percent in November

Mon Jan 7, 2013 6:05am EST
 

OTTAWA (Reuters) - The composite leading indicator for Canada rose 0.1 percent in November, slowing down from October on a housing market downturn and weak manufacturing as the economy hits a soft patch.

The index rose 0.2 percent in October and was up every month in 2012 except July, said a report on Monday by the Macdonald-Laurier Institute. The think tank developed the modified indicator last year to replace the one discontinued by the country's official statistics agency.

"The marginal gains in the leading indicator augur slow economic growth into early 2013, although the manufacturing sector turned down as uncertainty grew about the global economy," the institute said in a release.

The housing index fell 3.3 percent in November, the fifth consecutive decline as housing starts and existing home sales weakened.

In manufacturing, new orders fell 0.7 percent and the average workweek shrank by 0.3 percent.

Employment insurance claims rose for the first time in eight months in spite of strong employment data in the fourth quarter.

The stock market and commodity prices were the main areas of strength offsetting the weakness elsewhere.

(Reporting by Louise Egan. Editing by Andre Grenon)