In Europe, the continued availability of low interest loans is providing optimism that economic growth still has a chance. After a number of years of failed austerity policies, anything that can promote positive economic growth is a welcome sight to the beleaguered European economy. The bailout of Cyprus continues and although the negative headlines continue to worry some, the relatively small economy of Cyprus is unlikely to have a significant impact on the overall economic performance of Europe.
The US economy remains on the right track despite some minor concerns about job numbers in March. Weak hiring numbers from March became less of a concern when jobless claims for last week showed dramatically fewer new applicants for unemployment benefits. The positive economic growth has resulted in speculation that the Federal Reserve will end the stimulus program by the end of the year. The program, which involved monthly purchases of $85 billion in treasury and mortgage bonds per month, should slow down as job numbers continue to improve.
The Canadian economy continues with low growth but improving prospects in the US, and to a smaller degree China, provide hope for stronger economic prospects in the next few years.
The Canadian dollar showed some increased strength this week. Although the dollar has stayed slightly below par for a while, it remains relatively stable and should remain so for the short term.
Canadian bond yields remain steady with a slight downward trend over the past month. Interest rates should remain low for the foreseeable future although some recent government policy changes may cause rates to creep up slightly over the remainder of the year.
Please remember that 80% financing is available for qualified US residents at great rates!
Jason McLean BSc, AMP
The Mortgage Centre: Garibaldi Mortgage