From the Desk of Irwin Michael – August 7, 2015 Today, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics released the July 2015 U.S. non-farm payroll employment numbers of 215,000 new jobs and an unchanged unemployment rate of 5.3%. Interestingly, the Bureau announced that the job gains occurred primarily in the retail trade, healthcare, professional and technical services and financial activities. Additionally, the release of the U.S. ISM non-manufacturing index of 60.3, the highest level in about 10 years, indicates that the consumer sector is reaccelerating and could portend even greater strength to year end. As a result of these statistical releases we have drawn the following conclusions: The initial U.S. Federal Reserve interest rate increase should occur within the September-December 2015 period; The American consumer should benefit from rising employment, subdued inflation and steady economic growth; The U.S. economy continues to improve from the winter weakness. While this improvement is not excessive we could see this steady growth elongate the economic cycle through 2017; Given an improving U.S. economy and the fact that Canada is an important marginal supplier of goods and services to the United States we believe that combined with a low 76¢ Canadian dollar, the Canadian economy should start to improve with greater U.S. exports, merger and acquisition activities, etc. Irwin A. Michael, President I.A. Michael Investment Counsel Ltd.