Thursday, August 23, 2007

A Few Data Points

In answer to the plea I issued, Statscan gives us some interesting things to take note of.

1) Estimates for the upcoming harvest show that Canadian farmers are partially on the ethanol bandwagon, with grain corn production up some 17.6% over 2006. Oats are also up, collectivelly squeezing down anticipated grain harvests. I can't explain the oats. Perhaps it's what American farmers are planting less of?

2) The Canadian vehicle fleet showed mild improvements in fuel efficiency for 2006, about 1%. This effect was rubbed out by a 3% increase in miles driven. For all the whining about high gas prices, people certainly aren't that concerned.

3) Operating profits are flat at Canadian business for the quarter, but remain at record highs. Yawn.

4) Econbrowser has the valuable insight that just because the Fed says it will defend 5.25%, doesn't mean it actually will. Apparently they have quite a lot of leeway in deviating from target. I learned something. The Bank of Canada does not appear to be using the same tactics as the Fed, the overnight rate is precisely 4.50%, at least according to their website.

Also, if you haven't yet, I highly suggest checking out the post on the signing of the Hebron deal.

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