FXstreet.com (Barcelona) - The composite leading index of Canada has edged down 0.1% in December after two months remaining flat, in the weakest period since early 2001, according to data released by the Canadian statistics office, Statcan.

The outcome of the 2001 weakness was a slowdown for Canadian economy which could avoid a recession like the one that hit U.S. economy at the time. Nevertheless Statcan affirms that there are not reasons to think in such a slowdown now, as much of the weakness of the present period is concentrated in the housing sector. Excluding housing, Canadian leading index would have remained flat in December.

Besides, extreme weather conditions, have reduced considerably the amount of hours worked which contributed tot the downturn in services employment after 21 months of gains. Consumer spending remained mixed; while furniture and appliance increased, sales of other durable goods posted declines. Auto sales were also weak