Have you ever noticed that things never turn out as good or as bad as we imagine? I remember 6 months ago when the possibility of the big three auto-maker's going bankrupt was first being discussed. What a potential disaster! The media conjured images of an economic melt-down that would rival the great depression. But it didn't turn out that way. GM and Chrysler have both filed for bankruptcy within a month of each other and the sun still came up the next morning. In fact, on the day that GM filed for chapter 11, the stock markets actually went up! To paraphrase Mark Twain "news of the economy's demise has been greatly exaggerated".
"The worst is behind us now," Prime Minister Stephen Harper said in an interview with radio station CFRB in Toronto, adding there will likely be further job losses in Canada.
Signs the recession is easing include April data that showed new jobs were created for the first time in six months and sales of existing homes rose the most in more than five years. Credit markets are also improving, with the Bank of Canada's composite index of financial market conditions rising to its strongest level last month since September. Our local real estate market is hanging tough. Prices have leveled out to where they were a year ago and total sales were only 16% lower than in May 2009. Have we seen the bottom of the market? Only time will tell but I expect prices to remain fairly flat for 2009 and then start to improve next year.