To The Pointwith Boris Bozic
Commentary, Opinions, Thoughts and Discussion on Current Events, Politics and The Mortgage Industry

0 Comments Squaring The Headlines

Article written by on the 19 Feb 2016 in Canada,Current Events,Economy

So far the New Year has a theme to it. Headlines suggest that we’re at a precipice, and good lord, don’t look down.  And yet millions of people every day leave their homes to experience the joys of riding on overcrowded buses and subways and other forms of less than adequate public transportation.  The roads are jammed during rush hour, which now seems to be extended into Saturday and Sunday.  I’m assuming all these people taking public transit in the morning, and those navigating city streets in the hopes of getting somewhere, all left their house for a reason. Like maybe, a job?

God bless the millions, and millions of people who say to themselves, every day, “the four horsemen of the apocalypse may be on the way, but I have bigger things to worry about”.  GDP growth forecasts being lowered, what do you think about that? Interesting, but I got to get Precious to daycare on time.  Price of oil crashes?  My fuel consumption costs just went down because I have to take the kids to hockey, indoor soccer, jazz lessons, piano lessons, Chucky Cheese, to see grandma and grandpa, acting lessons (strictly for my child because he/she is special) and all this by Wednesday of every week.  Stock market takes a beating in 2016? Yeah, that’s bad but I don’t have time to think about it because (more…)

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0 Comments The Absurd Files – Canada’s Economy in Perspective

Article written by on the 22 Jan 2016 in Current Events,Economy,Politics

I came across an article that truly made me burst out laughing. It was an article from the Telegraph. The headline read as follows: “Islamic State forced to halve its jihadist’s monthly salaries in tough times”.  ISIL’s SLT, Senior Leadership Team, (honestly, I’m actually laughing while writing this) in Syria and Iraq released the following statement, “because of the exceptional circumstances that the Islamic State is passing through, a decision was made to cut the salaries of the mujahideen in half.  No one will be exempt from this decision, no matter of his position”. There was no clear explanation as to why terrorists would be forced to take a pay cut. Did the price of suicide vests go up? Was there a run on virgins in paradise, thus increasing the virgin acquisition costs? There was also no mention how those most impacted would respond.  No word if front line terrorists planned on withholding their services.  I guess they could all vote to strike or take some kind of work to rule action. So many unanswered questions.

There’s nothing funny about terrorism, and the ridicule, contempt and derision these mass murderers receive is justly deserved. Now they’ve earned the right to be mocked as well. The absurdity of the article should help all of us put things into perspective. (more…)

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0 Comments A Nice Stocking Stuffer – A Rate Hike

Article written by on the 14 Dec 2015 in Current Events,Economy,Interest Rates,US Politics

It looks like our neighbours south of the border will get something “special” this holiday season; like an interest rate hike. After almost nine years the U.S Federal Reserve rate is about to be increased.  Chairwoman, Janet Yellen, has been itching to raise rates for a while now, and the latest economic data from the U.S. gives her an opportunity scratch that itch. A rate hike is a signal to Americans, and the global economy, that worst is behind them, and the need for government to stimulate the economy is in the rear view mirror.

Or is it? The U.S. November job report indicated that over 200k jobs were added to the work force, their dollar is soaring, the unemployment rate has been cut almost in half to where it stood in 2008, so what’s not to be giddy about? Well, there is data to support that consumer spending, housing starts, and job creation have flattened. So the question is what happens if their economy has flattened, while at the same time the overnight lending rate is going up? Some pundits are actually suggesting that raising the rates now gives the Fed some wiggle room if they have to lower rate, yet again, to stimulate the economy. It’s not as if this hasn’t happened before.  Like back in 1930′s, a rate hike, followed by a quick rate drop, all the while knee deep in the Great Depression. Yeah – that little historical nuisance.

So what does the Fed’s move to increase rates mean for us here in Canada? For the time being, not much. We normally walk in lockstep with the U.S. Fed, but we’re about to decouple from that standard practice, and continue on the path we are on today. The reality is that our economy is still too fragile to mimic the Fed’s move. The oil sector in this country has been hammered, and the fallout has been far reaching. Some are suggesting (more…)

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1 Comments Time For A Deep Breath

Article written by on the 06 Feb 2015 in Canada,Current Events,Economy,World Events

One of the unfortunate by-products of the “information” age is that content is required, every minute of the day.  Be it 24 hour news stations, sports stations or online publications etc.  There’s no time to think things through.  In-depth research and analysis takes times, and nobody seems to have it today.  We live in a 24 hour news cycle, and the competition is fierce.  The more salacious or provocative a story is, the greater the chance that eyeballs will be directed to it.  Case and point, Alberta.  Our friends and colleagues in that province must feel like they’re under siege.  It’s a constant bombardment of the “sky is falling” narrative. This is not an “it’s not fair” sentiment an eight year old says that when you make them go to bed by 9:30 pm.  The shame is that there does not appear to be much balance in the news with respect to the price of oil, and the impact it will have in Alberta.  There are contrary opinions in this regard, but you have to look for it.

I came across an article which suggests that the price for a barrel of oil has hit bottom.  This is not a lone opinion, and one individual who is suggesting this has a wee bit of knowledge and credibility in this regard.  (more…)

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0 Comments Cash is King

Article written by on the 23 May 2014 in Economy

When isn’t it?  It may not be wise to hide your money under your mattress, but keeping some of your powder dry to seize opportunity is wise.  One never knows when the “next good deal” may present itself so it is always prudent to be ready when it does.  The challenge of course is identifying a “good deal”, and that takes some know-how, and luck.  Some of the best deals I ever made?  The one’s I didn’t make.  I think we all have those.  You look back on opportunities that you passed on and say to yourself, “whew, thankfully I didn’t pull the trigger on that one”.  Of course we all have stories about the opportunity we passed on that ended up being a winner.  Personally, I don’t let those decisions haunt me.  I never lament losing money that I never had in the first place.  But I will say there was a real estate transaction that I passed on that stills annoys me today.  Here’s the Readers Digest version.  A fabulous property was available about three years ago.  The footprint of the house was unique, and the dirt was in a rather exclusive neighborhood, and it was an eye-popping piece of property.  There was no issue of multiple offers because the property had been listed for over sixty days.   That led me to believe the vendor would be somewhat flexible.  I was wrong!  We were about five per cent away on the price, and we walked away from the deal.  That same home would cost me to thirty-five to forty per cent percent more to buy it today.  What bothers me about that deal is not increased value that I missed out on.  It’s that I knew it was a good real estate deal, and I let my ego cloud my judgment.  I should have given the vendor the victory at the negotiating table.  The vendor eventually got what he wanted, and we had to move on to find that next deal.  We did, but it cost us more.  Lesson learned, and we won’t be making that same mistake again.

I thought of that lost opportunity after reading an article in the Globe & Mail this morning.  The Globe reported that sales of high-end home are on an upswing, rather significantly.  Some 754 homes for $1.5M plus have sold in the Toronto market in first four months of the year.  That’s a year-over-year increase of thirty per cent.  So what’s driving high-end home sales?   Intuitively, it’s the reality of the market, and it’s a reflection that buyers that have the resources and the ability to carry the debt if a mortgage is required, they are saying it’s still a good deal.  I don’t mean to sound crass but a $1.5M home today is not what it was five years ago.  I look at property values every day, and when I see a tiny two bedroom bungalow, in an okay neighborhood, on a postage size lot going for over $700k, the $1.5M price tag is not all that shocking.  In desirable neighborhoods in Toronto, you would have to pay well over $1M for a tear-down.  The numbers are relative, and it’s simple as supply and demand.   As for the actual number of transactions in that snack bracket, keep in mind the population base in Toronto.  The largest populated city in Canada will lead in certain categories because of scale.  Also, there’s a lot of money in Toronto, and some of these people do not want to miss out on an opportunity.  I think the number one reason why people with means buy higher end properties, because they can.

Scarcity determines the price of all goods and services.   When it comes to real estate in Toronto, there’s no time for naval gazing.  In April, homes that sold in Toronto, were on the market for an average of twenty days.  In Calgary, the hottest market in Canada, it was thirty four days, tied with Regina.  It doesn’t matter where you want to buy a house in Canada today, irrespective of price point,  time is not on your side.

Until next time,

Cheers.

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0 Comments Interpreting The Numbers

Article written by on the 16 May 2014 in Business,Canada,Current Events,Economy,Merix Financial,US Politics,World Events

Is the glass half full or half empty?  Are the measures that we’re taken to modify the real estate market balanced or have policy makers over reached?  Numbers are supposed to be black and white.  Shades of grey come into play depending on the side of the argument you’re on.

The Canadian Real Estate Association, (CREA) released data this week which will make all sides of the Canadian real estate market argument happy.  Example, according to the MLS Home Price Index, home prices have increased by 7.6% from a year ago.  Now if you take Vancouver and Toronto out of the equation, the increase was 4.6% on a year over year basis.  So are we on the cusp of a potential real estate bubble or is it simple supply side economics?  The number of homes sold came in slightly lower than a year ago.  So is demand outpacing supply, causing prices to increase?  And oh my god, condo sales increased in Toronto as well. Red Rover, Red Rover, Doom Sayers come on over.  There’s a little something for everyone. The teeth nashers and those predicting Armageddon are fist bumping each other.  Others, justifiably so, are saying it’s a balanced market.  Should the price of a real estate never rise? If that we’re the case we would all be squatters, living in tents.  The commentators I love are the ones that sit firmly on the fence.  An economist for one major bank said their analysis suggests that we all experience a 10% decrease in home values, and there could be further risk if sales activity was to increase. They were so concerned with the “risk” that they matched the 2.99% five year rate that one of their competitors came out with.  That fence post must really be uncomfortable to sit on.

Sifting through all the commentary can be confusing, and let’s be honest, depending on the amount of skin you have in the game will influence the argument and opinion you support.  To combat human nature it’s important to seek contrary opinions, and I force myself do that, almost daily.  It takes some effort to find commentary which is not self-serving, like those selling newspapers, hedge funds that are shorting the Canadian economy or politicians playing politics.  Here’s a couple names to look out for when you want broader viewpoint, economists Nouriel Roubini and David Rosenberg.  What’s their bona fide? They predicted the financial collapse of 2008. So what are they saying today?  According to Rosenberg, “Nattering nabobs of negativity – stop knocking yourself out. First, there are a host of reasons why I see inflation rising moderately, and the wage process is but one of them. There is a very interesting development taking place that is not garnering a lot of attention. The U.S. commercial banks are loosening their purse strings. As for the U.S. economy, it is looking as though Q2 real GDP growth will come in close to a 4% annual rate. Why I turned bullish on the U.S. consumer.”  Clearly he’s refereeing to the U.S. Economy, but like it or not, when America sneezes we look for a tissue.  In good times and bad.

Until next time!

Cheers,

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0 Comments Now This Is Refreshing

Article written by on the 13 Sep 2013 in Canada,Current Events,Economy,Mortgage

I’m spending some time in airports this week, and I use that time to catch up my reading.  I came across an on-line article by Christina Pellegrini, “Why real estate doomsayers continue to be wrong.” The article originally appeared in the Financial Post Magazine.  There was something different and unusual about the article which left me out of sorts after reading it.  Figuring I must have missed the nuance, I read the article again.  Then it dawned on me. The story was fair, balanced and looked at both sides of the story.  That’s something which is sorely lacking when it comes to stories about the real estate/mortgage industry in our country.

For far too long the doomsayers have dominated the airwaves and print media.  I get it, it sells.  Crash, bust or apocalyptic meltdown gets more attention than a stable and balanced market.  But shouldn’t someone hold the doomsayers accountable or at the very least ask the question, “you were way off, please explain?”

Pellegrini attempts to do just that.  There was a great quote in the article from Canada Mortgage Trends, Rob McLister.  With respect to where prices may be at some point in the future, Rob said the following: “Anyone that purports to tell people where prices are going to be in two, three, fours years down the road is a fraud. Housing is stable at this point and there’s nothing on the horizon that we can say with certainty is coming that would derail the market.”

Facts and trends can be debated, and that’s healthy. The problem today is there doesn’t appear to be much debate.  Rob’s viewpoint, along with many other in the article, is not only refreshing but necessary.  A balanced story, irrespective of the topic, requires work.  It’s time for some to stop being intellectually lazy.

Until next time

Cheers

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0 Comments I Don’t Want To Jinx It

Article written by on the 31 Jul 2013 in Canada,Economy,Ontario

Do my eyes deceive me? Is there a plethora of solid economic news? Let’s see, there aren’t any new weather disasters or heat waves to be concerned about which would impact housing. Well, that’s a start. Add that to some positive economic news and I’m almost afraid to continue on with the blog. What the hell, I’ll tempt fate. There’s some positive news coming out of Canada and also for our neighbors south of the 49th parallel.

Dear America, “spend for the love of your country and your most appreciative neighbors to the north.”

The results of the most recent Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan U.S. Consumer Sentiment Index has reached the highest level since 2007. Given what happened in 2008, the near collapse of the global economy, these results are significant. The strength and weakness of the U.S. economy is dependent on consumer spending. After 2008, American consumers did something awful – they stopped spending and started to save. Their levels of individual savings reached record highs, and it was a convenient statistic for doomsayers in this country to point too. The soapbox rhetoric sounded something like this: “look how responsible the Americans have become. We should learn from them.” Saving money is wise but we have also learned that if the U.S. consumer doesn’t spend, we feel it. Like right in the derriere. Our economies are intertwined so any good news south of the boarder, as it relates to consumer spending, is good news for us. We have lots to sell them and with the falling loonie our products and services are more affordable. So come on American consumers, be patriotic. Dip into your savings accounts and don’t be embarrassed about having a larger credit card balance. Spend for the love of your country and your most appreciative neighbors to the north.

The good news here at home is the average Canadian net worth is on the rise. For the first time ever we’ve topped the $400,000 barrier. Okay, most of that is real estate equity but I don’t think we should have to apologize for that. Having a balanced portfolio mitigates risk, but wealth is wealth. Kudos to the people living in Ontario. The province which proudly claims that it’s “Yours to Discover” has discovered that paying down debt is not a bad thing. Ontario was the only province to lower non-mortgage debt, resulting in Ontario having the largest percentage increase in average net worth in the country. Saskatchewan is climbing the net worth charts given their newfound riches, due in large part to natural resources and real estate value. B.C. still holds the distinction of having the highest net worth at $662k. When it comes to B.C. we all know that if you own a home, you’re a millionaire. Unfortunately, to realize any gain, British Columbians would have to sell their home and move to Nunavut. Sure, the average temperature in Nunavut in January is -48, but you would have all that cash to throw into the fireplace to keep yourself warm.

All in all some good news across the country. I don’t want to push the “good news” stories too far. The law of averages dictates restraint. I may have gone too far already. So I’ll apologize in advance if a meteor hit’s the earth (the apology only applies if the meteor actually lands in Canada) and ruins everyone’s week.

Until next time,

Cheers

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1 Comments Housing Affordability

Article written by on the 07 Feb 2013 in Business,Canada,Economy,Mortgage

Much has been written and said about mortgage debt and affordability recently.  No point in belaboring what has and has not been done to address this issue. I’m sure there will be plenty of that in the future, as well ample hang ringing about the so-called condo bubble, specifically in Vancouver and Toronto.

Manhattan Living...

The so-called “condo crisis” (oh, how the mere thought of it makes the press salivate) in Vancouver and Toronto came to mind after I read an article in the Wall Street Journal. The article focused on the cost of condos in Manhattan. The current median price of a condo in Manhattan is the lowest it’s has been since 2004. Could Manhattan’s experience be a harbinger of what’s to come for Vancouver and Toronto?  If it is then maybe the 36 people in Toronto who don’t own a condo already should go and get one.

According to the Canadian Real Estate Association, the average home price for the month of December in Toronto was $501,361, and in Vancouver it was $730, 912.  Remember this includes dirt to go along with the walls.  In Manhattan the average condo price in 2012 was $835,000.  However, adjusted for inflation it was the lowest since 2004.  Can you imagine the headlines if Toronto was similar to Manhattan’s reality?  The median price in Manhattan for a 2 bedroom condo was $1.26 million, 3 bedroom was $2.37 million and a 4 bedroom was $4.75 million. Adjusted for inflation these are the lowest prices since 2004. According to the Wall Street Journal article there’s a disconnect between buyers and investment indicators.  Buyers are saying there’s not enough affordable housing and yet when you take inflation into account prices have actually declined.  So is it a good time to buy a condo in Manhattan?  I’m not familiar with the Manhattan’s housing cycle so I’m not sure, but what I can say is this: at an average price of $2.37 million for a 3 bedroom condo in Manhattan, I think Toronto is a good buy.

Some might be aghast that I would compare Manhattan to Toronto.  Well, Toronto is the 4th largest market between the US and Canada.  Therefore, I think it’s valid to look at values on a comparative basis.  That’s exactly what foreign investors did when buying property in Vancouver and Toronto. As absurd as we think our prices may be, the investor from Hong Kong looks at our market and thinks of great value.  As we all know value is driven in large part by consumer perception.  The perception of Vancouver and Toronto is that consumers buying condos are doing so at their own peril.  Yet in Manhattan, home buyers lament the high cost and scarcity, all the while being told now is a good time to buy.  It’s interesting how some things never change.  Here’s a headline that helped shape New Yorkers perception of their condo market, “Great Scarcity in Apartments…Never before has there been such scarcity of apartments on Manhattan Island.”  That headline came from the New York Times, in 1916!

Until Next Time

Cheers

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0 Comments Reasons to Celebrate: Smart Consumers and Low Unemployment

Article written by on the 11 Dec 2012 in CAAMP,Canada,Economy

For some time now, finding positive news about the mortgage industry and the real estate market in general required a Sherpa Guide and a donkey.  “I think I just heard something positive about mortgages…  OOPS, my bad, it’s just Big Foot.”

It hasn’t been easy but over the past couple of weeks there’s been news which leads me to believe the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse may not be on the way.

CAAMP’s Annual State of the Residential Mortgage Market in Canada (love those short titles) was released just prior to Mortgage Forum 2012 in Vancouver.  It’s a must read for everyone in the industry.  All the major media outlets have picked up the report and there’s been a significant amount of coverage based on the report.  One aspect of the report that bodes well for the industry, and should give regulators some degree of comfort, is how responsible Canadian borrowers are.  I found it striking that 32% of borrowers either increased their monthly payments or made principal reductions over the past 12 months.  It is estimated that $3.5 billion in additional monthly payments were made, and a further $20 billion in lump sum payments.  Yes, consumers are taking on more debt but they’re looking at paying off their debt sooner.  When stories are written about consumer debt levels, a word or two should be dedicated to how responsible Canadians are in attempting to eliminate their debt.

Here’s another indication that consumers maybe be smarter than the press give them credit for.  Over the past 12 months there’s been a high level of ARM conversions to 5 year fixed terms, and the product of choice today is 5 year fixed. Maybe, just maybe consumers are smart enough to know that now is not the time to gamble.  They’re looking at five year terms and saying the rate is competitive and it’s worth the peace of mind for the next five years.

As far as I’m concerned, the only stat that matters to our industry is the unemployment rate.  Everything else, where prime is going etc., is secondary.  Our industry, our entire economy will rise and fall with employment numbers.  It’s simple, if borrowers are working and they have access to cheap money, like they do now and will have for the next few years, there’s less reason to dump a property.  A home owner may not get the price they’re looking for but because the home is affordable there is less reason to discount the price.

If a home owner loses their job a completely different set of circumstances arise.  That’s why there’s reason for optimism over the most recent employment numbers.  According to Stat’s Canada, 59 thousand new jobs were created in November. On a year over year basis 294 thousand new jobs have been created, and hours worked have also increased.  These numbers are critical, not only to our industry but to our economy. Anytime we see a reduction in the employment rate it’s a reason for a high five or fist bump.  So turn around and give your work mate a fist bump because our unemployment rate has been reduced to 7.2%.

There’s more good news that will be readily available when the full Maritz survey becomes public in January, another must read.  But even if we only take into account the data available today there’s reason for optimism, and lessons to be learned.  For instance, consumers do not require regulators to legislate responsibility. Consumers are miles ahead on that one.

Until next time,

Cheers.

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0 Comments Australia: What I’ve Learned So Far

Article written by on the 22 May 2012 in Economy,Mortgage,Personal,Travel,World Events

For God’s sake they should get a couple of thousand tugboats, some good strong rope, and tow this island somewhere closer to civilization. 

In the name of all things holy it’s far.  For God’s sake they should get a couple of thousand tugboats, some good strong rope, and tow this island somewhere closer to civilization.  For transparency I was fortunate to be able to sit at front of the bus for the flight over.  That gave me the opportunity to stretch out and get some sleep, some seven hours’ worth.  It was the other fifteen hours that I had to fill, and what I learned is that to pass that amount of time away you need a distraction.  Like food!  The flight attendants try to feed you at every moment.  “Mr. Bozic, is there anything I can get you?” Let me see, it’s been 22 minutes since my last meal, “sure, how about some dim sum and 4 bags of chips”.  I’m not kidding.

The real estate market is red hot here – This according to the cab driver who drove me to my hotel.  Property values are increasing by 10% annually, and he owns multiple properties. Hmm, interesting.  I was afraid to ask him if he was a part-time mortgage broker.  Let me rephrase that, I was afraid of the answer.  I have this illusion that the Australian mortgage broker industry wouldn’t allow that.

As soon as I unpacked at the hotel in Melbourne, I went for a walkabout.  I went out and picked up two newspapers, which I planned to read from front to back, so that I can get a flavour of what’s current and happening in Australia.  On the front page of The Australian and The Daily Telegraph was this number one story: the original Wiggles are no more.  Yes, Australia’s jewel and gift to children’s programing is going through a radical makeover.  Three original members are leaving for personal reasons; the usual, wanting to be closer to family etc.  Yeah right, one day the truth will come out and we’ll all learn that there’s a Yoko Ono story in there somewhere.  One of the replacements is, are you sitting down, a Wigglette.  Only 22 years of age, Emma Watkins is the new face and the first female member of the Wiggles.  If you’re wondering she will dawn the yellow shirt.

Australian stock market has tanked.  It’s lost all of its gains in 2012. The European debt crisis dominates the business section but the major banks here feel they’re insulated because they have been preparing for the inevitable for some time now.  Australia biggest trading partner is China.  As goes the Chinese economy so goes Australia’s.

The best five year fixed rate I could find is 6.5%.  Gulp!

Melbourne is a lot like Vancouver, from architecture to the overall feel.  Melbourne hates all things Sydney; just like Vancouver and Toronto.

The learning continues.  The bastards drive on the wrong side of the road.  I was nearly killed twice jaywalking.

Revolving doors at the hotel turn in the opposite direction.  Smacked my head a few times – D’OH!

Clearly I speak funny.  I was in Melbourne for less than twelve hours and two people asked me the following: “so you here on vacation, mate?”

The most important thing I’ve learned so far is that there’s no awkwardness in meeting family for the first time. It was odd talking to my cousin on the phone, making plans to meet at the hotel and having to describe what I was wearing so he could pick me out of the crowd.  He found me, and I got a chance to spend some time with him, his beautiful daughter, his brother and his mom, my aunt.  They were extremely gracious and they treated me like family.  It doesn’t matter what happens from here – that will be my lasting memory of this trip.

Until next time

Cheers

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0 Comments Canadian Job Market: When Seeing is Not Believing

Article written by on the 15 May 2012 in CAAMP,Canada,Current Events,Economy,Ontario

Not long ago CAAMP’s Chief Economists, Will Dunning, said to me that economists base their forecasts on their personality.

 

All of us at some point have said, “I can’t believe what I just saw”. One example is if the Toronto Maple Leafs ever win the Stanley Cup. The conscious mind would not to be able to accept something so outrageous and beyond the realm of possibility. It is so much easier to believe in something that you never see – like all things religious. Religion is purely based on faith and actual scientific evidence is, well, scarce to say the least. Yet, people believe. So how is it that something as simple as economic data makes some economists disbelievers? That’s exactly what’s happening today; they see the data but they don’t believe it.

I find it fascinating that economists are saying Canada’s job creation numbers should not be taken at face value. Over the last two months, Canada has added more jobs than in any other two-month period in the last 31 years, with approximately 140,500 jobs added in March and April. Also, more full time permanent positions were added, meaning more Canadian workers will benefit from employer healthcare benefits. That’s fantastic news! It’s reason to celebrate! But no, economists are suggesting the employment numbers are not sustainable and our job numbers are uneven. As for sustainability, no kidding! But I guess if they say that often enough they’ll eventually be right. As for the numbers being uneven – Alberta, for example, has the hottest job market today, while Ontario lags behind the rest of the country – that’s another debate all together. Ontario’s most recent numbers are clear evidence that the province needs real leadership. What was once the economic engine of Canada has now been reduced to the nation’s punch line. Ontario aside, there’s great news for the rest of the country. Quebec? Everyone was under the impression that the province was headed for another recession. Low and behold, the job numbers in Quebec are rising. Companies are looking for experienced workers – evident in the fact that more people aged 55 and older are being hired. Youth unemployment is still an issue, and Canada’s jobless rate ticked up a bit to 7.3%. That being said, Obama would kill for those numbers heading into the presidential elections.

Canada’s job figures appear to have caught many economists by surprise. The question is why? How can those in “the know” now claim that these numbers came out of nowhere. Of course, they can make that claim, but if they continue to get caught off-guard, their future predictions will fall on deaf ears.
Not long ago CAAMP’s Chief Economists, Will Dunning, said to me that economists base their forecasts on their personality. They’re either optimists or pessimists, and their forecasts will reflect their normal disposition. Based on their recent track record, maybe there should be a third category –Illusionist.

 

Until next time.
Cheers

 

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