HIGHLIGHTS OF THE WEEK
• Details of the huge shadow inventory of vacant foreclosed real estate is starting to shake prices. There is speculation that as these homes now come to the market in higher numbers that they will push down prices further and increase the supply of property well above the market demand.
• While retail gas prices have grown 20% over the last three months, we count ten separate occasions over the last decade where prices have jumped by an equal or greater amount. The problem is that prices are rising off levels that are already high to begin with. The negative economic effects could be mitigated if incomes were growing at a brisker pace. Unfortunately, income growth has stalled in recent months.
• Still, there are at least a few reasons to be hopeful that rising energy prices won’t hurt the economy as much as is feared. Real fuel consumption is down 7% from last year, aided in part by a surge in new car sales that is facilitating the conversion of America’s aging auto stock to a more fuel-efficient fleet.
• The Canadian labour market created a stunning 82,000 new jobs in March, bouncing out of its recent lull. The unemployment rate edged down to 7.2%, from 7.4% in the prior month.
• The composition of Canadian job gains was also favourable, with the bulk of employment growth concentrated in full-time positions.
• The CFIB’s small business barometer showed that business confidence improved for a seventh straight month in March. Hiring intentions improved sharply, indicating a continued healthy, but more moderate pace of job creation going forward.
Robert W May is a Real Estate Broker in Lethbridge Alberta, having now been in the industry for over 23 years. . He was also a licensed Lethbridge mortgage broker and financing expert with Canada First Mortgage of Calgary Alberta for the past 10 years. He is an industry leader always willing to help train and educate others in how to improve their business models for financial and personal benefit.