The good news is that this blog won’t deal with unemployment numbers, flat or declining retail sales figures or any of the other topics that you’ve grown weary of since the Canadian economy began going south late last year.
The bad news is the déjà vu is setting in with the loonie strengthening and the price of a litre of gas hovering around the $1 mark in most parts of the country.
With predictions that both gas and the Canadian dollar will continue to rise or at least stay high, the summer of 2009 is suddenly seeming like the summer of 2008, only with added economic challenges this year.
Consider that we’re paying almost as much for gas now with the price of oil at around $62 a barrel as we were last year when it hit $100 per barrel. Feeble excuses from the oil industry are only seen as a slap in the face to consumers in an economic downturn.
The potential ramifications on the golf industry are many, including increased costs for fueling necessary equipment, less disposable income than is already the case and golfers more inclined to stay around home than travel any distance to play.
The inclination to stay home will particularly affect tourism, especially with Americans already suffering through a prolonged and nasty recession. The pumped-up loonie of late will do nothing to help that situation.
The dollar is just coming off its biggest weekly gain since October, partly due to the rising price of crude oil and fears that the creditworthiness of the United States is deterioriating. On Friday, the loonie was worth just over 89 cents U.S.
So, it appears that some old challenges are returning for a sequel, only this time blending with other economic woes.
What’s your take?
Are rising gas prices and a strong Canadian loonie going to be the story of the summer, or is this just a temporary situation?
That question is posed in the new GNN Poll on the home page. Of course, we welcome readers to expand on their ideas through comments below or discussions within the GNN Forum.
SOME GOOD NEWS: Apparently, the Victoria Day long weekend was a happy one for a good number of golf facilities around the country, despite some wild weather and the economy.
According to our most recent poll, 42 per cent of respondents said their business that weekend was “great, thank you very much.”
How you view what the rest of the respondents said depends on whether you’re a glass-half-full or glass-half-empty person as 29 per cent of those who responded said their business was “OK,” while a similar number called their long weekend traffic “poor.”
Of course, if you haven’t answered, your views are still welcome as that one is still active in GNN’s Poll Archive.