‘Maxed out’: 48% of Canadians on brink of insolvency, survey says.
That's what the recent survey via BNNbloomberg.ca conducted by Ipsos for insolvency firm MNP Ltd. says.
48% - of Canadians are $200 or less away from financial insolvency every month.
The poll is conducted quarterly for MNP and surveyed 2,070 Canadians online from March 13-24... phew.
Fortunately for the rest of us, this is a small sample relative to our more than 35 million residents... but according to sciencebuddies.org a survey of 2000 random people will produce a margin of error of only 2.2%. Oh oh.
If this poll is a reflection of Canadian's ability to continue borrowing to fund lifestyle as they have for the past decade of accelerated leverage, then next up will be a slowdown in consumption which is Canada's major GDP input. The April 2019 IMF table of Global Economy projections is below; Canada's economy is indeed facing a challenge.
...and the Yield Curve
The flattening of the yield curve is a signal from the bond market that it is worried about the economy and its ability to continue to grow. In addition, it is a signal that future inflation is nowhere to be seen. One outcome of an inverted yield curve is a weakening in bank lending as banks begin to earn less profits from making loans. In the most recent earnings announcements, the banks have already made this clear as they expect net interest margins to contract. This is because a bank’s role is to borrow funds at usually lower short-term rates and lend those funds at usually higher longer-term interest rates. The spread between these two rates represents the banks’ profits.
My Canadian yield curve chart above with its 10yr less 2yr plot, shows inversion is only 8 beeps away on March 2019 data. The U.S. Fed's chart is similarly poised.
High household debt levels reduce consumption abilities which puts downward pressure on employment which is already facing the digital transformation of supplying goods and services. Lender and borrower risk leads to debt revulsion by both sides of the equation.
It's been 10 years since the 2008-09 crash which is difficult to even remember now after 10 years of watching our housing prices more than double. But as Hilliard Macbeth points out in the chart above, when residential mortgage lending momentum approaches and dips into a negative metric, housing prices tumble and recession metrics begin to appear. In the two biggest FOMO markets, Vancouver and Toronto, prices indeed have been dropping in the 7-9% per year range after peaking 18-20 months ago respectively (Plunge-O-Meter).
As Hilliard further points out:
"There hasn’t been a serious economic downturn in Canada since the 1990s; the last time that mortgage credit grew as slowly as now. Unfortunately bank lending is pro-cyclical, so lenders will tighten credit conditions just as real estate borrowing stops growing, which will make the downturn worse. This boom/bust cycle is inevitable as long as lenders focus on lending for real estate investment and speculation rather than more productive investments. To change that focus, a new set of rules and regulations that govern lending is needed.” Quote included in Jason Kirby and MACLEAN's Most Important Charts to Watch in 2019
Well it could easily be one o'clock in the morning as weak hands cut their losses. Hat Tip to @Hutchyman
It's important to remember that our housing and credit boom is part of the global credit boom and it's fading. Hat Tip to @TaviCosta
Gabriela Ramos, OECD Chief of Staff and Sherpa overseeing the Organisation’s work on Inclusive Growth, presented in more details the main findings of the report, saying “our analysis delivers a bleak picture and a call for action. The middle class is at the core of a cohesive, thriving society. We need to address their concerns regarding living costs, fairness and uncertainty.”
The cost of a middle class lifestyle has increased faster than inflation. Housing, for example, makes up the largest single spending item for middle-income households, at around one third of disposable income, up from a quarter in the 1990s. House prices have been growing three times faster than household median income over the last two decades.
More than one in five middle-income households spend more than they earn and over-indebtedness is higher for them than for both low-income and high-income households. In addition, labour market prospects have become increasingly uncertain: one in six middle-income workers are in jobs that are at high risk of automation, compared to one in five low-income and one in ten high-income workers.
Read the Full Report "Governments must act to help struggling middle class"
While we wait for the March 2019 housing data the IEA notes that CO2 emissions have more than doubled since the early seventies and increased by around 40% since 2000 and they rose by 1.7% in 2018.
Chris Hayes All In with AOC
The Green New Deal March 29, 2019
Top 10 Climate Change Myths - April 2018
Peter Hadfield (Youtube handle "potholer54")
a British freelance journalist author, geologist
The impact of exposure to air pollution
on cognitive performance
Over 92 per cent of the world’s population are continually breathing in unsafe air, which has led air pollution to be designated a public health crisis.
This paper estimates the contemporaneous and cumulative impacts of air pollution on cognition by matching the scores of verbal and math tests given to people age 10 and above in a nationally representative survey with local air quality data according to the exact dates and locations of the interviews.
We find that accumulative exposure to air pollution impedes verbal test scores. As people age, the negative effect becomes more pronounced, especially for men. The gender gap is particularly large for the less educated.
Our findings about the damaging effect of air pollution on cognition, particularly on the aging brain, imply that the indirect effect on social welfare could be much larger than previously thought. A narrow focus on the negative effect on health may underestimate the total cost of air pollution.
Full Report from the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, September 2018
Vancouver is going to see short haul battery powered electric aircraft as early as 2021-22.
As Bloomberg reports:
Worldwide, there are some 100 different electric-aircraft programs in development, according to an estimate by consulting firm Roland Berger GmbH.
"The first passenger flights for British Columbia-based Harbour Air Ltd. which flies about 500,000 passengers each year from BC and downtown Seattle, would be in late 2021 under a partnership with Seattle's MagniX Technologies, pending regulatory approvals..."
Longer term, Roei Ganzarski, MagniX’s CEO predicts that electric motors will lead to a “resurgence” in the regional airline industry for trips under 1,000 miles with new aircraft designed for 10-25 passengers. North American carriers have struggled to fly in some of the smallest markets as most commercial aircraft flying today have at least 50 seats, too many for thinner routes.
“By 2025, 1,000 miles is going to be easily done,” Ganzarski said, based on the evolution of current battery technologies. “I’m not saying 5,000 miles, but 1,000 miles, easily. I don’t think that’s far-fetched or a pie-in-the-sky thing.” Bloomberg, March 26, 2019 Full Report
WORLD.MINDS MOBILITY on the world’s first
electronic, autonomous personal aircraft.
"Real Estate Prices will rebalance and cities will become
reener with more pedestrian zones on the ground."
"The retail industry will be transformed by technology, just like newspapers were."
@benedictevans March 20, 2019
Thanks to Benedict Evans for retweeting Andreessen Horowitz's 76 page slide show "Mobile is Eating the World"
The charts to the left from the slideshow are related to autonomous transportation, but the bigger picture of this presentation is about machine learning and the eventual end of your employment if your job is a repetitive task.
"Machine Learning...the idea that systems can learn from data, identify patterns and make decisions with minimal human intervention." sas.com
On march 11th 2019, David Larock an independent full-time mortgage broker laid out his "Case for Lower Canadian Mortgage Rates", below edited, but read the whole feature report at MoveSmartly.com
The Bank of Canada acknowledged that our current economic slowdown is now “more pronounced and widespread” than it had previously forecast.
Global economic momentum is slowing.
Our economic slowdown has been sharper than expected.
Housing and consumption have slowed, and business investment and exports haven’t picked up the slack as the BoC had hoped.
Inflation expectations have been lowered.
Uncertainty is increasing.
Our output gap is widening because debt is choking off growth, and that is a powerful, long-term headwind, which will continue to exert itself long after global trade networks have been re-established.
On this last item, my Household Debt chart is in agreement.
Tuomas Malinen @mtmalinen for the charts above.
Today, March 13th 2019, the live
Canadian Productivity Chart exhibits a slowdown.
While we wait for FEB 2019 Toronto Housing Data, here is an analysis of Toronto Single Family Detached average house prices from a regular contributor.
Annual Plot: "No chartist would buy this chart; buying Toronto RE right now is akin to trying to pick a bottom, catching a falling knife." S.B.
While we wait for the February real estate data to come in, here is the latest UBS update to their real estate bubble index.
Not many surprises; we have been seeing these cities appear on the most expensive lists for sometime now.
My Demographia file has been tracking these cities since 2005.
Vancouver, whose house prices accelerated to a double-digit rate relative to last year, has a ballooning index score. Higher stamp duties for foreign investors proved futile in braking its boom. By contrast, Toronto’s price dynamics have slowed considerably and its index score declined somewhat from last year’s. In both cities, valuations have trended upward since the late 1990s. Neither the financial crisis nor weakening commodity prices has dragged them down. But rising rates, stricter market regulations or an economic downturn could turn the lights out on the party given the high valuations and strained affordability.
2018 UBS Global Real Estate Bubble Index PDF
The higher the price, the harder it gets:
Homes listed at less than $1 million: 45% failed to sell.
Homes listed at $1 million or more: 61% failed to sell.
Homes listed at $5 million or more (656 units): 79% failed to sell.
Resale transactions on Vancouver homes over $1 million fell by 26 per cent in 2018, with the slowdown more heavily weighted toward the second half of the year, said the brokerage. This was the third consecutive year of a decline in “top-tier” home sales over $1 million.
In the single-family home sector alone, the annual sales declines were even deeper, down 35 per cent among $1 million-plus homes and 51 per cent among $4 million-plus homes.
High-end condos in the City of Vancouver fared somewhat better but still “gave in to market stressors” in the latter half of the year, said Sotheby’s. Sales on condos over $1 million fell by 14 per cent year over year.
History, Charts & Curated Readings
"Progress, far from consisting in change, depends on retentiveness. When change is absolute there remains no being to improve and no direction is set for possible improvement; and when experience is not retained, as among savages, infancy is perpetual. Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it." George Santayana Vol. I, Reason in Common Sense
Balance Of Trade
Rent Or Buy