Third Quarter 2023 Fixed Income Strategy Review
Heading into the third quarter of 2023, the outlook for the economy gave investors a few reasons for a little optimism. Inflation had fallen very consistently for a year and measured 2.8% by the end June, not all that far off from the Bank of Canada’s 2% target. The economy, although slowing (GDP growth decreased to 1.8% for the prior 12 months by the end of Q1, and to 1.1% by the end of Q2) was still producing positive output. In addition, the unemployment figures remained surprisingly robust, with the unemployment rate at 5.5%, the net change in the labour force remaining positive (employers were adding to their payrolls), and average hourly earnings measured above 5% (meaning wages grew at a rate greater than 5%).