I guess the good news is that Gas is back to being more expensive than bottled water (but still much less expensive than Coffee at Starbucks). I had to double take when I saw that my fill up price per liter yesterday was $1.11 per liter, so the $20 I put in my car wasn’t very much (luckily it was in a small car, so it still seems not too bad).
More interestingly I see that the car I am currently driving (Toyota Corolla) has dropped in price in Canada to reflect the new stronger dollar, took them long enough to do that. I bought my car used, but it’s good to see I could get a new one much cheaper these days too. What if I had bought a new one in November, does Toyota have a rebate plan for the poor shmucks that bought last fall?
Yesterday’s post about the RRSP Silly Season I wasn’t clear enough to point out that I do in fact put money away for retirement in a few different ways, I just do it directly from my pay cheque to ensure I do not mistake it for spending money and not put any money away for my retirement. This is really the best way for me to do this kind of saving, if I do not see it, then it is likely I won’t rely on having it to pay off bills and such.
Leading Indicators Up
Another confusing piece of data claiming to show that the Canadian Economy is just fine was published yesterday, with Stats Canada. The Leading Indicators composite index was up 0.2% in January after December’s no growth, so I guess this is a good thing. Another confusing set of data from Stats Canada you can mull over this morning too.
Canadian Leading Economic Indicators Unphased by Financial Market Stupidities
So the leading indicators are up 0.4% over August, and more importantly don’t seem to reflect any “wear and tear” from the financial market fiascoesof that time frame (i.e. lower than prime mortgage stuff).
Household demand remained the driving force behind growth. The housing index leapt by 5.3%, its largest gain in almost six years, due to higher housing starts. Spending on durable goods also accelerated. Strong consumer demand for services was the largest contributor to the growth of services employment.
So the Canadian economy continues to chug along happily, which is a good thing.
And the Loonie will Dive
RBC claims that by next year, the Loonie will be back down to 93 cents American, but I am not so sure about this one. I think the U.S. government has made a conscious decision to force their economy back to a more manufacturing base, and not have to rely on imports as much. A sliding American dollar makes for much more expensive imports, which means American manufacturers are on a much more even playing field now? Yes, it’s simplistic on my part, but if you want to kick start things, maybe creating a “Buy American” ground swell, by forcing the prices of imports up (without having to use tariffs) is pretty smart.
ATM Fees a little Math
After finding out that the banking machine at my office has become a “white” ATM machine to me (being a TD customer), it now means that if I take out $20, I pay $3 in service charges. What does that mean?
- Effectively I am paying 15% interest (at that moment) to get money from this machine. Yikes that is a hell of a lot of money to pay just to get $20
- Yes, I shouldn’t just take out $20 at a time, I should take out MORE, but I actually take the next logical step which is to go to a banking machine for my bank and not get charged anything.
As I said, invest in banks, no one else could get away with this.
Manufacturing is recovering nicely and the ludicrous levels of household spending is slowing, which is actually a good thing (since a lot of that spending is debt increasing).
Household spending was mixed. Furniture and appliance sales continued to expand steadily. Housing levelled off, largely because housing starts returned to more normal levels after receiving a boost from the unseasonably warm start to the year. Purchases of other durable goods fell for a second straight month, largely due to slower auto sales.
Good to read that.
Did you notice a big change? Hope not, I am taking small steps towards revamping the site’s look, so this is the NEW blogspot format, which I will try to fix up a little, and then move to a new look. Mrs. C8j has given her seal of approval so far, and that is all I can hope for.
So we can all guess where the most economic growth was in 2006 (hint: Starts with AL ends with BERTA), no surprise there, if the Americans don’t annex it, Alberta could be a member of OPEC by itself.
Who is #2? For those of you who said Ontario, please sit down, and for the rest of you, give up, because it was Nunavut (so it was a trick question, since Nunavut is a Territory). I guess having diamond mines and natural resources doesn’t hurt your economy, now does it?
British Columbia is the #2 province, construction, Olympics and trees are the three key words there.
Again, Canada is doing well, take a bow Canadian Worker!
If you read the Stats Canada Leading Indicators post you’ll learn what that means, and you’ll have learned something new today, which is always a good thing.
I think you can interpret this data as saying that Canada’s economy is sailing along nicely and expanding nicely too.
The “money supply” is expanding, but what does that one mean, I wonder? I always thought that if you keep adding more money to the economy you are in danger of creating inflation, unless of course the money is actually imports of external money, creating new revenues in Canada, in which case that is good (I think). Think I had better go read up on that one.