I am the last person here that should write about the little economic bubble that we live in here in my city. I expect that it reaches most of Alberta, but because I haven't done the reading and can't quote sources, I'll leave that to someone else.
What I do know is that certain people (farmers, oilfield personnel, realtors, natural gas consultants, retail managers, mutual fund dealers) have been been talking about this since 2006. So many people had predicted the recession that it came as no surprise when shit hit the fan last fall.
This was confirmed at my company's AGM, where the Regional VP congratulated our area for taking a conservative stance on investments as a measure of damage control. There were devastating losses, but at least most of them were 15% lower than elsewhere.
During this entire time, I haven't been as worried as others have been. For one thing, I have no extra money to invest so it's not like I've lost anything. My house isn't worth $320,000 anymore, but one of my neighbours recently sold theirs for $285,000, which is still $115,000 more than I paid for mine.
The cost of fuel has leveled out, and that has helped us leverage our household budget. Consumers are shopping just as often as they were before the crash, and in fact, I have never seen so much traffic in our two malls as I have in this past two months. Clothing and electronics are still just as popular as before, and if we see those prices drop, that's even better. Real estate sales have dropped but they're still building and buying and selling and we expect the market to return to normal as early as 2010.
So while the rest of the world is seeing millions of lay offs, I have to say we're incredibly lucky here. There might have been some companies who have had to lay off about 20% of their workers, but many of them are hiring them back on a contractual basis (to avoid paying the benefits, I'm sure) but that makes it better for me - I will sell them personally owned benefits! Then maybe I can start buying some of these stocks and mutual funds, while they're still low.