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Commodities main source of strength in Canadian economy, says Conference Board

OTTAWA - The Conference Board's latest barometer of the economy shows Canada's short-term outlook is becoming ever more dependent on commodities.

The newest composite leading index for April rose by 0.4 per cent, twice the pace of March, but the composition shows the trigger for growth was almost exclusively on the commodity export side.

Higher resource prices contributed to an eighth consecutive month of growth in the Toronto stock market, with the Bank of Canada commodity price posting the biggest gain in three years at 2.4 per cent.

As well, wheat prices were strong in part due to the turmoil in Ukraine.

Meanwhile, manufacturing was flat in the month and housing fell for the sixth consecutive month.

The labour component was also soft with claims for employment insurance experiencing the largest jump in almost three years.

The Conference Board says the leading index is composed of 10 indicators designed to track the short-term course of the economy.

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