Synchronized global growth in both developed and emerging markets persisted into the third quarter of 2017. Growth in North America was modest to robust quarter-over-quarter as unemployment rates remained at their lowest levels in a decade, manufacturing activity firmed and inflation ticked higher, running over 2% in the United States and around 1.6% in Canada.
Underlying economic growth in North America remains tepid but has continued along a positive trajectory. Jobless rates in both Canada and the United States were lower to end the second quarter than they were to end the first.
Canadian and U.S. equities delivered robust gains in the first quarter of 2017. Canadian equities, as measured by the S&P/TSX Composite Index returned 2.4% while U.S. equities, as measured by the S&P 500 Index (USD) were up 6.1%.
The final quarter of the year was coloured by the outcome of the U.S. elections as campaign promises made by President Elect Trump filtered into equity markets. Global equities performed well during the quarter, led by the Japanese Nikkei Index which climbed 16.4% (in local currency).