I am sure there has never been a time in Canada where we have so eagerly anticipated a recession. First there was the cataclysmic labour market numbers for 2008 (the country added 260,000 jobs) now the retail sales data is out.
It’s bad folks. Brace yourselves. Get ready for the Globe & Mail’s best wordsmiths to pound away on this.
A 0.4% decline in retail sales from November 2007 to November 2008. Is it too soon to say depression?
Even worse, if you exclude cars, there was a 0.8% increase in retail sales over the year. That’s not a typo. Increase.
In the midst of the “worst economic situation since the Great Depression” as we are told.
Strong employment growth. Moderate retail sales. Zero inflation. Low interest rates.
And this is the worst since the Great Depression. Hmmmm.
In fairness, because that caveat is almost always an appropriate way to CYA, most ‘experts’ are pointing to the real downturn to come in 2009 in Canada.
But we aren’t seeing it yet and the media would be wise to use tempered language around these issues as they have already contributed to the lowest levels of consumer confidence in decades even though as the data clearly shows there is currently no reason to be so pessimistic.