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Economics The economy, taxes, Federal Reserve, Central Banks, inflation, interest rates, unemployment, stock markets, currency, GDP, NAFTA, IMF, WTO, GATT, etc.

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  #1  
Old Jun 11th 2009, 05:56 PM
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Default How's Your Economy Doing?

One odd thought struck me today coming home from work...

There is no recession or any evidence of a recession going on here in Toronto. Seems very weird.

From my window, I can count sixteen high rise buildings under construction (all inside the downtown core). There are another couple dozen building projects going on in the 'inner' suburbs as well. All are still in progress, some even doing evening overtime and weekend work. Even one or two new construction projects are just breaking ground.

And the May real estate numbers in Canada showed that the city of Toronto had an increase in sales of 2% for the month of May compared with May 2008. Toronto's average housing price and office leasing rates have stopped rising, but are not falling at all.

This seems bizarre - especially given that the 100km circle around Toronto is probably the largest concentration of auto manufacturing in North America and that industry is hurting bad. The city of Toronto's main industries are the NYC combination of banking/finance with entertainment/tourism - and both of those sectors ought to be hurting. Even bars and restaurants are doing okay right now and the hotels aren't empty - I can still see several 'tour-buses' parked outside a couple hotels nearby where I live, so that business is still moving at least. Toronto does get lots of bus-tours coming in for live musical shows (Broadway style shows) and this is an important part of the economy one would expect to suffer in a recession - again, Toronto is very dependent upon US tourism.

Even the company I work for (only 30 people) is doing okay - and over two-thirds of our sales comes from exporting to the US as well, so every thing just seems weirdly out of sync with what I read in the news all the time.

(knocking wood)

So I'm curious, does anyone else see any physical evidence of a recession going on in where they live? I'm not talking about the bad news economy, but your own actual visual or personal evidence of economic decline? Abandoned/stopped building sites are probably the most obvious indicator of economic trouble, but I'm sure there ought to be others.
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Old Jun 11th 2009, 06:00 PM
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Default Re: How's Your Economy Doing?

Hate to copy and paste, but I answered this in another thread (where it went ignored)...
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Two years ago, this shit would have scared the hell out of me. I was bouncing from job to job with no real goal in mind and I could very easily have ended up jobless without possibility for benefits. Now that I have a "career position," I find it all abstract. This has been the first month I've really struggled during the recession and that's only because we're moving and had the equivalent of three months rent to pay at once.

I also find it weird because I see jobs opening up all the time and people spending money just like normal. Traffic shows that people are still vacationing and vehicles are just as expensive as ever (if no moreso). The only think I have really noticed is that residential construction has taken a pretty big hit despite commercial construction carrying on as normal.

Perhaps it's just the calm before the storm. Maybe it just see it this way because I live in rural Kentucky. Is it all going to come crashing down in a year or two?
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Old Jun 11th 2009, 06:03 PM
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Default Re: How's Your Economy Doing?

Yeah, well I actually typed this up and posted it to the "Random Thread" but then decided to delete that post and post it as a thread.

Glad to see I'm not the only one who is living in some weird twilight zone.
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Old Jun 11th 2009, 06:16 PM
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Default Re: How's Your Economy Doing?

Further deja vu...
Quote:
Quote:
Originally Posted by Michael View Post
One odd thought struck me today coming home from work...

There is no recession or any evidence of a recession going on here in Toronto. Seems very weird.

From my window, I can count sixteen high rise buildings under construction (all inside the downtown core). There are another couple dozen building projects going on in the 'inner' suburbs as well. All are still in progress, some even doing evening overtime and weekend work. Even one or two new construction projects are just breaking ground.

And the May real estate numbers in Canada showed that the city of Toronto had an increase in sales of 2% for the month of May compared with May 2008. Toronto's average housing price and office leasing rates have stopped rising, but are not falling at all.

This seems bizarre - especially given that the 100km circle around Toronto is probably the largest concentration of auto manufacturing in North America and that industry is hurting bad. The city of Toronto's main industries are the NYC combination of banking/finance with entertainment/tourism - and both of those sectors ought to be hurting. Even bars and restaurants are doing okay right now and the hotels aren't empty - I can still see several 'tour-buses' parked outside a couple hotels nearby where I live, so that business is still moving at least. Toronto does get lots of bus-tours coming in for live musical shows (Broadway style shows) and this is an important part of the economy one would expect to suffer in a recession - again, Toronto is very dependent upon US tourism.

Even the company I work for (only 30 people) is doing okay - and over two-thirds of our sales comes from exporting to the US as well, so every thing just seems weirdly out of sync with what I read in the news all the time.

(knocking wood)

So I'm curious, does anyone else see any physical evidence of a recession going on in where they live? I'm not talking about the bad news economy, but your own actual visual or personal evidence of economic decline? Abandoned/stopped building sites are probably the most obvious indicator of economic trouble, but I'm sure there ought to be others.
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Originally Posted by The Drunk Guy View Post
Banking makes since: people are repositioning what they have left into "safer" gambles, like CDs. And I've noticed tourism seems unaffected, yet different. Perhaps the long distance visitors are being replaced with closer visitors. (That's been my take on seeing more local people in the national parks in this area all spring.)
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Old Jun 11th 2009, 07:29 PM
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Default Re: How's Your Economy Doing?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Michael
So I'm curious, does anyone else see any physical evidence of a recession going on in where they live?
Negative.
Housing market is calm but not in crisis. Traffic jams are as big as ever. Public and private projects are popping up at a steady rate.
I still think this is the normal economy. It doesn't really matter that the supercharged one blew up its engine.
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Old Jun 11th 2009, 07:36 PM
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Default Re: How's Your Economy Doing?

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Originally Posted by Dominick View Post
Negative.
Housing market is calm but not in crisis. Traffic jams are as big as ever. Public and private projects are popping up at a steady rate.
I still think this is the normal economy. It doesn't really matter that the supercharged one blew up its engine.
My fear is what happens when the inflation increase really hits home with the smaller wage increase. What happens in a year or two when credit is even scarcer in the Americas and Europe? What happens when groceries surpass rent/mortgage in cost with the next gas hike?

I say it seems normal for now, but it's teetering perilously close to an edge of disaster.
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Old Jun 11th 2009, 07:38 PM
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Default Re: How's Your Economy Doing?

The only thing you might call physical is that businesses in general are slower than they used to be in general. Also there are a lot more for sale signs in front of houses. But no it isn't like you see places being boarded up or anything. Other than that I do know people have been laid off in my area and those looking for a job are having a much harder time finding them. While I was still looking recently I would find several things to put in my resume for at first back in September but before I finally landed something recently I was lucky to find one thing to put in for per week. The thing is it wouldn't have been so bad if I wasn't tied to the area. My wife has a great job here and we own a house so I was mainly looking within 50 miles. If I had been willing to move it would have been no problem to get something pretty quickly in Louisville, Nashville, or Saint Louis.
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Old Jun 11th 2009, 08:58 PM
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Default Re: How's Your Economy Doing?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dominick View Post
Negative.
Housing market is calm but not in crisis. Traffic jams are as big as ever. Public and private projects are popping up at a steady rate.
I still think this is the normal economy. It doesn't really matter that the supercharged one blew up its engine.
Yes, it does perhaps seem like that. And yes, commuter traffic jams are BIGGER than ever around here - especially the last couple of weeks.

(I'm placed so that I 'counter-commute' against the flow of traffic to my work)
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Old Jun 12th 2009, 11:35 AM
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Default Re: How's Your Economy Doing?

Nothing I observe on a day to day basis indicates "recession". I do have friends and loved ones around here that are feeling the effects in one way or another, but that's about it. Even houses are selling more quickly, it seems. When I bought in 2007, there were a lot of houses that had been on the market for a long, long time. These days, the for-sale signs go up and then they come down. Of course, it could be that fewer people are trying to sell their homes, but the flip-side is that the lack of for sale signs also means that places around here are not in foreclosure.

In my neighborhood, I cannot think of any unoccupied homes at all. The ones that have sold have gone relatively quickly.
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  #10  
Old Jun 12th 2009, 11:37 AM
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Default Re: How's Your Economy Doing?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Michael View Post
Yes, it does perhaps seem like that. And yes, commuter traffic jams are BIGGER than ever around here - especially the last couple of weeks.

(I'm placed so that I 'counter-commute' against the flow of traffic to my work)
I used to counter commute when I lived in the city of Chicago proper and my company moved out to the suburbs. Unfortunately, in Chicago, it makes no difference. During rush hour, the traffic forecast in all directions on all major streets going everywhere is "uggghh....."

Until I moved out to the suburbs, my round trip commute was about 3 hours (for a round trip drive I can make in 40-50 minutes in the wee hours with no one on the road).
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