Thursday, March 20, 2008

At least TD and the G&M seem to be paying attention

From G&M today:

http://www.reportonbusiness.com/servlet/story/RTGAM.20080318.r-credit-inflation19/BNStory/Business/home
Canada begins tracking U.S. into slump, Heather Scoffield


It cites TD Don Drummond, chief economist for TD, who is a top economist in Canada, and one of the few that writes interesting stuff, IMHO. He states the Canada is tracking the US economy perilously close to recession. He expects Canada to register a negative GDP for Q1 and an ever so slightly positive Q2. TD even was talking about a negative December GDP before it was confirmed by Stats Can as a negative 0.7% (http://www.statcan.ca/Daily/English/080303/d080303a.htm)

TD, you are the new "go-to guy" in this recession/slowdown!

I asked this question last month (http://canadahousingcrash.blogspot.com/2008/02/did-canadian-recession-start-in.html) and nothing seems to have improved since then.

While that may end up optimistic, in my view, especially if the commodity markets implode (http://canadahousingcrash.blogspot.com/2008/03/commodity-markets-imploding.html), this is at least a realistic scenario.

Most Canadians haven't felt like a recession is here as consumer spending has remained strong. It is the export/manufacturing sector that is feeling it. Westjet and Air Canada claim to have not felt any impact yet (http://www.reuters.com/article/marketsNews/idCAN1823835120080318?rpc=44). The TSX prior to this week had bounced back nicely from the January mini-crash and outperformed the US markets. That may have changed this week! The Canadian real estate market has remained strong. That may be changing as we speak.

I think that the impact will begin to be felt very soon, especially if the TSX continues its recent slide.

Now, if only the other 5 banks and the mainstream media would wake up to the fact that Canada is not decoupling from the US and start considering this possibility seriously. The Bank of Canada is awake as shown by the 50 basis point cut earlier this month.

Positions:
HGD, HXD, GLD, gold mutual funds, DBA, DUG

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