When Statistics Canada publishes the Labour Force Survey early each month, the number that makes the headlines is the net change in employment, or maybe the jobless rate.
Stephen Poloz, the Bank of Canada governor, probably only glances at those figures. He’s interested in more granular elements of the report. For example, as an audience in Moncton heard on Sept. 27, the youth participation rate is an indicator he watches “particularly closely.” You never see that number reported widely.
Popular indicators such as factory production and the Consumer Price Index shine a spotlight on the economy. But spotlights leave shadows. If you rely only on a few widely reported figures, your understanding of how the central bank is thinking about the economy will be lacking.
Fortunately, Poloz and his deputies have been good about discussing the data they use to illuminate the corners of the economy that headline readings miss. The Financial Post used those references to create a dashboard of the indicators that we imagine Poloz and his lieutenants are watching as they decide how quickly to raise interest rates. When the Bank of Canada say it is “data dependent,” these are many of the indicators on which it relies most.
Hover over the end of each graph below to get the latest economic data and why it matters.