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It appears that even though business purchasing managers rate the level of business conditions higher, according to data released today, actual purchase orders placed with manufacturers has declined, as shown on the graphs below.
Higher expectations does not automatically mean higher demand.
Data released today shows that the unemployment rate continues to rise in Canada, while it declines in the U.S., as shown on the graphs below.
I'd imagine that will affect cross-border shopping as it means that more Americans should be purchasing Canadian goods and fewer Canadians purchasing American goods, particularly as the USD/CAD currency is trading around parity. Perhaps the Canadian government's austerity measures are working to the detriment of employment, as they enforce policies to eliminate the budget deficit by 2015. With the expected softening of global growth for 2012, I don't see that number improving for the foreseeable future.