Each year has different luck according to the I Ching, and the Year of the Rabbit is one in which obstacles come up frequently—certainly not a year for taking risks, as there are many who wish to sabotage you and a lack of those who will help.
This is a year in which the yin (dark) dominates and the yang (light) is obscured. The approach this year is to be patient, assess the situation properly, and then take action. Facing the challenges this year can serve to sharpen and train your adaptability in managing difficult situations and better prepare you for future obstacles.
Because this is a year of sabotage, there will be a lot of gossip, unrest, strikes, and conflicts. Fire hazards, explosions, and serious traffic accidents can also be anticipated. People will tend to be lazy and try to earn quick money. Love and sexual relations are a greater cause for losses. Competition tends to be fierce and profit margins low. There will be many who do not have jobs, while at the same time there will be jobs that aren’t filled, making for a very awkward year.
In 2011, though Canada will be expected to have a better economy than the neighbouring United States, we will be directly affected. Don’t be too optimistic, since Canada relies heavily on primary resources exported to the U.S., so if its economy suffers, Canada will not do much better. Despite some experts forecasting a three- to four-percent growth in GDP, I personally feel that it will be 2.3 to 2.5 percent at best. Gold has risen to a very high value and will remain high but with large fluctuations, making the export of precious metals less favourable.
Because Canada is more conservative in its financial and economic policies compared with the U.S., the effects of the recession are relatively less. The regional differences in economy and finance will tend to vary for Canada in 2011. Business and financial activity in B.C. will be less compared with the eastern provinces, and Alberta, Saskatchewan, and Ontario will fare better in economic growth. Retail, export, and distribution will do well, particularly for metals such as copper and gold. In central Canada, commodities such as farmed products, crude oil, and natural gas will do well, leading to estimated growth of 3 to 3.2 percent. However, B.C. will only have an estimated economic growth of 2 to 2.3 percent.
Inflation will tend to be low for Canada in 2011, estimated at two percent. The unemployment rate, on the other hand, will remain high at approximately 8.7 percent. Exports and manufacturing will start to recover, particularly in telecommunications, high tech, electronics, metals, crude oil, and mining. However, automobile manufacturing, insurance, robotics, and forestry will not see much change for the better. The domestic economy—particularly for retail, food, and banking—will be relatively stable. The Canadian dollar will continue to be strong and may even have a chance to reach US$1.10. Interest rates will remain low, but may experience an increase of 0.25 to 0.5 percent.
As I have predicted since 2008, real-estate prices continued to increase through 2009 and 2010. However, at the beginning of 2011, there will be some correction of not more than 10 percent. After May, construction and real estate will slowly have healthy growth, particularly in Edmonton, Toronto, Montreal, Calgary, and Saskatchewan, estimated at seven to nine percent, less for B.C., at four to five percent. There will be fewer transactions, particularly for the west side of Vancouver, partly because there are high prices to begin with, but also due to sellers not decreasing prices; therefore, there will be a four-to-five-percent decline in sales. Conversely, Vancouver’s East Side, Surrey, and Richmond will have more activity, with a four-to-five-percent increase in sales. Realistically, the real-estate market in B.C. is beyond the economic capability of the average person, whose wages are unable to match up. Because of the immigration of affluent people to Greater Vancouver, there will always be people buying, maintaining the high real-estate values. As a result, a correction of even eight percent is significant.
The TSX will have an eight-percent increase, but because the stock market is very unstable, with large fluctuations this year, it is not a good place to invest. This is particularly the case with copper and gold, where on one hand enormous sums of money can be made, and then overnight a person can suffer great financial loss. Rather, consider investing in bonds and the Canadian dollar.
As for federal politics, if there is an election this summer, the Conservatives have a chance at being elected a majority government. In B.C., the New Democratic Party has a good chance at the provincial leadership if there is an election, but regardless of who is in power the HST is here to stay. Even though the GST has decreased two percent since Stephen Harper became prime minister in 2006, all other taxes have gone up, making life very difficult and burdened for Canadians.
Though there will be natural disasters, the Year of the Rabbit will be better than previous years. However, it will continue to be cold, with record low temperatures, so winter preparation is a must. Avalanches, large-scale traffic accidents, forest fires, and fire hazards in the home are a greater concern this year. Safety will be worse this year, with organized crime and youth violence being more serious and prevalent. Fraud, home invasions, and drug-use will continue to increase.
Overall, it won’t be a bad year, and life is what we make of it. If we accept the year as it is and continue to work hard, avoid greed, be ethical, and proceed with good, meticulous plans, this could even be a year of good alongside the bad and mediocre. Grasping the right opportunities in the changing Year of the Rabbit, we even have a chance to finish ahead.