On the political front in this country it is easy to see that folks on the Prairies are out of step with the rest of the country. We voted in zero Liberals. Everyone else gave them seats.
But politics is not the only place where we are seeing things differently than others in the nation. The Bank of Canada has just released its Business Outlook Survey, conducted in the fourth quarter of last year. In broad terms, the outlook is neutral to positive across the nation – except here. We are seeing things negatively.
If life imitates art, then politics imitates economics because the dour outlook exhibited by Prairie business owners is a direct reflection of difficult economic challenges being translated into political – or a lack of it – support.
We are expecting that margins will shrink as prices fall in the face of weak demand. Labor shortages seen in other regions are not an issue here and we are not feeling capacity pressures – meaning our operations can handle new business without adding staff or equipment – that are becoming evident elsewhere.