2012 is not starting well, I've been less than diligent in writing my blog. There are a few reasons for this; I am surprisingly busy for an unemployed dude. Secondly, the economic news (Canadian anyway) is less than interesting. Europe is still in trouble (obviously), the Euro is slowly falling (which should help but we must not forget that most of Europe's trade is internal), so the impact of a falling in Euro is higher energy prices -- that cannot be good. China is still in line for a "landing" hard or otherwise. Since Chinese statistics are generally unreliable... we will never know.
America's corporations continue to defy gravity. Yes, lots of bad news is already priced in the market, but the question is; how will Q4 earnings hold up. A great deal of ink has been used to state that US corporate earnings had benefited greatly from a strong Euro -- its now trading at 1.26, substantially lower. American consumers still seem to be doing their bit (despite no increase in income). Canada a second derivative country highly dependent on US growth continues to benefit from the American party! Rumors, and limited statistics seem to indicate that certain segments of the Canadian economy are in fact seeing slow down:
Quebec has seen a dramatic rise in its unemployment rate -- its unclear (the numbers don't provide this kind of breakdown) if there is a massive "return to the labor force move" or if its actually Quebecers losing their jobs.
In Ontario, anecdotal evidence seem to imply that a good deal of real estate demand is generated by speculators -- financial investors looking to acquire property under development and sell then to end users before construction is completed.
The Canadian oil boom out West (the non-tar sand business) is not doing too well, because most Canadian don't realize that the vast majority of "oil" sold by Canadian companies is actually natural gas! And gas is cheap.
Anyway, these are Canada's chalenges in 2012, we will have to see how it plays out