Why is Canada's consumer confidence so low?
Look, we get it. The recession was awful, particularly nasty for millions of Canadians.
But even with an expectation that a recovery would not be 100 per cent smooth sailing, more than two years since the Bank of Canada officially declared the downturn dead we should be back on our feet, at the very least.
Though the latest Index of Consumer Confidence shows not only are Canadians worried about our economy, their confidence is at its lowest level in more than two and a half years.
In other words, we feel the same about Canada’s economy today than we did smack dab in the recession’s darkest days.
The obvious follow-up: why?
To gauge what’s going on here, we took a quick survey of recent news headlines to get behind what’s bumming out Canadians. To measure consumer confidence, the Bank of Canada polls how we feel about four key indicators: the economy; job creation; future major purchases; and personal finances.
*Bing: Tips to reign in your holiday spending
On the surface, we ought to feel real good. This is, after all, Canada, the country that’s become such a model for its performance during fiscal trials that Mark Carney, our BOC governor, was appointed to chair the newly-formed Financial Stability Board, a committee to make recommendations to changes needed on the global economic scale.
And, certainly, there are several sources that appear to back up our reputation. Not only has Canadian production capacity begun to approach pre-recession levels again, but our housing market remains strong, too. Add to that an economy that’s expanding at a rate far higher than analysts expected (and far higher than the U.S., as well) and you’d think Canadians would feel real well about things.
But then – ah, you say – this is a consumer confidence index, and if there’s anything we see from accompanying news stories, it’s that no level of national economic prosperity matters much if it’s not felt on the ground level.
Though retail sales are strong and Canadians had no problem shelling out big bucks on Black Friday and Cyber Monday, two key measures are weighing us down.
Number one: an unexpected slump in job creation, and number two: our households are getting poorer and taking on more debt.
The obvious silver lining here is that Canada’s peripheral profile looks strong. Our economy is what it is, one of the world’s best. The Job market isn’t the hottest right now, and though we’re spending now, we don’t appear ready to commit to major purchases in the near future.
Yet all that should come. And soon. This is, after all, our guy in charge.
By Jason Buckland, MSN Money
Posted by: Clear & Focused | Dec 22, 2021 1:43:35 PM
Things are as bad as they are in the US because their banks still have reserve requirements. That means that they have to actually keep – on reserve – a percentage of the money that their depositors deposit… and that means not stealing it all to speculate on a rigged stock market. Crazy concept, I know eh?
But when they steal all the money and lose it on the casino economy, then their “reserves” are in jeopardy – naturally.
But that is in the US.
We think we are so smart here, for some reason.
But, the US’s miniscule reserve requirements are the only thing which still makes it a quasi-legitimate economy. Meaning, their banks still have to have some money on hand – in cash, not digital – to portray the façade of being a legitimate financial institution (emphasis on façade – 4% reserve requirement is not really reserves).
But how is it that Canada has managed to fool everyone into thinking we are in such better shape.
Easy! Just don’t have reserve requirements. That is right. On the surface the headlines read that our system is better, but that is because in financial terms – we are lawless. To bankers this is paradise because there is no burden of becoming a financial criminal when there is no such thing as financial criminality.
This is the plan our beloved Mark Carney will bring to the world. “Turn your banks into fake-banks” he says. “Turn your banks into digital sorcerers, accountable to no one” he says.
Ya, that’s it! If you don’t have any reserve requirements – ie: you are allowed to steal 100% of deposited cash and use it to speculate for your own profit – then how could you ever be in jeopardy of overdrawing your reserve requirements and thereby precipitating a panic or crisis. Just keep it digital” he says.
It is the same as saying “well, we’ve got all kinds of bankers breaking rules, so why doesn’t the world take a page out of Canada’s book, and just abolish any rules that bankers have to follow. That way this can never happen again, and we can all just go on with more smoke and mirrors digital-counterfeiting. And you will never know the difference…” our savior Mark Carney will say “…because we are the ones who calculate the inflation rate… Oh, and what do you know, inflation just magically went down! Yippee!”
Lets all sing Oh Canada, because we are so smart we don’t even know how our own banking system works.
Posted by: Northern Ontario | Dec 22, 2021 2:31:36 PM
Speaking of smoke and mirrors. Folks, don't listen to C&F. He tries to impress all of us with fancy wording but don't be fooled. He has no clue what he is talking about.
Posted by: Clear & Focused | Dec 22, 2021 3:44:41 PM
I feel sorry for those fools who believe that cheerleading is equivalent to journalism. Our fathers and grandfathers ceded responsibility to sociopaths many years ago. We are doomed. World War Three will take care of our overpopulation problem, and make no mistake, that is the only thing on their mind. Wake up! What do you think.... these are bunglers we're dealing with?? Open your eyes.
People better start thinking about how to protect themselves.
Posted by: don | Dec 22, 2021 6:25:51 PM
There are so many mixed message been given to us by "experts" that I wont do anything based on what they say. Chances are there will be another study or survey that says the opposite within 2 weeks. My spending hasnt altered. I never overspent before and I am not now. Information overload, being fed information faster than we can process or verify it is creating a lack of trust in our politicans and our markets. How can a share price be raised on a rumor one day and fall the next day when the rumor is proven false? Money changed hands...someone won and someone lost. We gotta cut this crap. Decisions should not be made without verifying information. I think is is one of the things that is killing our economy. One well placed rumor/statistic etc could cost us all. We cant keep up to the information flow and make any kind of decent decision based on what we are being fed...therefore the experts...but I dont think they are doing any better.
Posted by: Elmo | Dec 22, 2021 9:43:49 PM
Since Dazed and Confused "always" has all the right answers to everything pertaining to money and social issues, maybe he can do everyone (including himself) a favour. Go buy yourself a small ice encrusted berg just outside Canada's northernmost waterway; there you can "lord" over your dominion and impress the hell out of your seal and polar bear subjects. We'll make sure the Cdn Govt sends a food mail plane to drop off a few goodies to ya every few years. Happy iglooing !!
Posted by: Trixie | Dec 27, 2021 8:32:22 PM
I do agree with "Clear and focused" to a point --we all think we are so smart on this side of the border. We keep saying what happened to "them" (USA) won't happen to us. How stupid are we? In half a lifetime, everything I've seen happen in the USA DID, in fact, eventually happen in Canada. Again, how stupid are we?? How much is the rest of the world really laughing at us? And, all of this retoric shouldn't matter to anyone except, ironically, us!
(Elmo, I would actually love to put YOU on an island by yourself. At least he seems to be trying to figure this out. YOU seem useless.)
Posted by: KARL V | Dec 27, 2021 11:19:07 PM
nunber one CONCERN HONEST GOVERMENT SO WE WELL RECREATE MANUFACTURING JOBS SO WE CAN COMPETE AND BALANCE THE TRADE WE LOST 500 000 MANUFACTUREING JOBS LAST TEN YEAR AND GOVERMENT HELPED THIS HAPPEN WE DO NOT WANT TOBE BECOME ANOTHER DETRIOT THIS IS LONG TERM THINKING NOT A QUICK FIX AND CAN BE DONE 2 BALANCE RICH AND POOR WITH TAXES OR LESS TAX BREAK SO WE DONT HAVE TO SUBSIDIS THE POOR 3 BANK 0F CANADA DIRECTLY FINAICE GOVERMENT STOP THE PRIVATE BANKS FROM RAPING US ... 4 GO AFTER CAR INSURANCE RATES 5 STOP CLOSE DOOR DEALS LIKE SUMMMIT AND WIND MILL 407 ON ON AND ON I CAN GO.... OH FORGOT WE NEED HONEST GOVERMENT IF WE NEED STONG FOUNDATION LETS MAKE NEW LAWS THAT ACTAULLY PROTECT OR JOBS THE LIST IS ENDLESS THAT WHY PEOPLE HAVE LOW HOPES ON ECONMYS WHEN WE SEE THESE PROMBLEMS EVER DAY