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Coming up in the Asia-Pac session on Friday:


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MNI BRIEF: Canada Pre-Omicron Job Market Outpaces Expectations

(MNI) Ottawa

December Sees Employment Climb For Seventh Straight Month.

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Canada's jobless rate declined for a seventh straight month in December, beating market expectations, in a survey taken early in the month before the omicron variant forced a new wave of social distancing restrictions across the country.

Employment rose by 54,700 and the jobless rate fell 0.1pp to 5.9%, the lowest since the pandemic and within sight of the modern record low of 5.4%, Statistics Canada reported Friday. Markets expected 15,000 jobs and no change in unemployment.

Wages climbed 2.7% from a year earlier, similar to the recent trend and above the central bank's 2% inflation target. The figures follow a trade report Thursday that also showed surprising economic resilience at the end of last year. Employment rebounded 4.8% in 2021 with 886,000 jobs following the plunge in 2020 as Covid-19 emerged.