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Canadian labour market numbers remained broadly solid in February, but that will likely matter little for markets or policymakers given increasingly intense concerns about the spread of the new coronavirus outside of China’s borders, according to Nathan Janzen from RBC Economics.

Key quotes

“Employment increased 30k in February. The unemployment rate ticked up to 5.6%, but that is still down from a year ago and still right around multi-decade lows. Wage growth held above 4% on a year-over-year basis.”

“The fear is that spreading of the virus will prompt similar, if still ultimately transitory, impacts on a broader set of economies. That would intensify supply chain risks and hit the much larger domestic service sector. It also means that positive, but ultimately backward looking, economic data will continue to take a backseat to go-forward concerns.”