June is a quirky month:  it has no overwhelming holiday celebrations that involve candy or costumes or sudden weight gain. In fact, the one holiday that most people associate with June is Father’s Day, with charming ties and handmade cards given out to fathers, grandfathers, and supportive men who might as well be fathers for all that they do out of love. However, if we take a second look at the word father, and dance back through the centuries to the Latin root, Pater, a different concept grows from the same vine: patronage.

The idea of patronage is simply the concept of supporting someone in their endeavors to make the world a better place. That can come in the everyday form of a patron at a local store; it can come through donations as a patron of the arts; it can come in the more lofty form of a community patron, one who ushers in programming for the power of good in schools or local organizations like Kiwanis or the Rotary.

I have often spoken of the need for us all to have a tribe, an innermost circle of trusted people with whom we share our personal and professional goals so that everyone might benefit from having a handful of connected individuals. However, if we look to ourselves to serve as leader of our tribe, it is in some sense serving as a patron, one who oversees a small community and lends support to causes that matter.

This month, as we hit the halfway mark of 2024, I ask you: who else could you include in your circle? How can you more effectively connect the people in your life to make the world a better place? How do you view your patronage, what cause is important enough to you to spend a lifetime in dedication to that outlet?

As summer unfolds, I hope that answer comes clear for you and that you find yourself at the center of your circle, a patron of what matters to you. These long days ahead of us with sunlit afternoons and warm evenings are perfect for spending with friends and family, guiding your plans to make the world a better place. Onward!

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Canadian employment edged up by 27,000, or 0.1 per cent, to 20.518 million in May. The unemployment rate ticked up to 6.2 per cent. Average hourly wages rose 5.1 per cent year-over-year to $34.94 last month, while total hours worked were up 1.6 per cent from May of last year.

Employment in BC fell 0.3 per cent to 2.863 million, while employment in Metro Vancouver fell 1.1 per cent to 1.610 million in April. The unemployment rate rose 0.6 points in BC to 5.6 per cent while rising in Metro Vancouver by 0.8 points to 6.1 per cent last month. 

Link: https://mailchi.mp/bcrea/canadian-employment-may-2024-june-7th-2024

For more information, please contact: Gino Pezzani.

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A vast majority of people neglect strength training exercises, such as weightlifting, using resistance bands, or practicing bodyweight exercises like squats and push-ups. However, overlooking this type of exercise has consequences, as highlighted by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), which advises most adults, including seniors and those with chronic conditions or disabilities, to engage in muscle-strengthening activities at least twice weekly, along with 150 minutes of moderate aerobic activity.

The merits of strength training are numerous:

Weight management: By preserving and building lean muscle mass, strength training enhances metabolism, aiding in weight management. Additionally, increased muscle mass correlates with improved insulin sensitivity.

Bone health: Activities such as resistance training and weight-bearing exercises foster healthy bone density and mitigate the risk of osteoporosis.

Enhanced quality of life: Engaging in muscle-strengthening activities facilitates everyday tasks, such as stair climbing and heavy lifting, thereby improving overall physical function. Moreover, it can help older adults prevent falls.

Management of chronic conditions: Individuals with conditions such as obesity, arthritis, depression or diabetes can all find relief through strength training.

Initiating a strength-training regimen, with approval from your healthcare practitioner, need not be daunting. Only simple attire and adequate space are needed. Opt for three to five fundamental exercises, such as squats, wall push-ups, glute bridges and step-ups, and perform two to three sets of eight to 12 repetitions, with a minute rest between sets.

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The Bank of Canada lowered its overnight lending rate this morning by 25 basis points from 5 per cent to 4.75 per cent. In the statement accompanying the decision, the Bank noted that first quarter real GDP growth was below forecast, and recent data suggests the economy in operating in excess supply. On inflation, the Bank sees downward momentum in core inflation, while noting that shelter inflation remains high. Overall, the Bank is confident that inflation will continue to move toward its 2 per cent target and that monetary policy no longer needs to be as restrictive. 

This Bank of Canada rate-lowering cycle will be one of the few times this century that rates are being cut for reasons other than in response to a global crisis. As such, we should expect a gradual pace of rate cuts measuring 25 basis points per meeting over the next 18 months until the Bank’s policy rate hits the mid-point of the Bank’s estimated neutral range of 2.25-3.25 per cent.  Where the policy rate ultimately ends up will be dictated by economic conditions. A good baseline is 2.75 per cent, but a worse than expected economy could mean the Bank’s policy rate needs to fall under 2.25 per cent for a period, and conversely, more stubborn than anticipated inflation could mean that this lowering cycle stalls out north of 3.25 per cent.

Now that the Bank of Canada is at long last lowering its policy rate, the impact on fixed mortgage rates may not be that significant. The bond market, and by association the mortgage market, is a machine that digests all available information about current and future economic conditions and, since late 2023, markets have strongly anticipated falling policy rates. As a result, 5-year fixed mortgage rates have likely already priced in the entirety of expected rate cuts. As for variable rates, current market pricing has settled around prime minus 60 basis points. If that discount holds, it will take seven rate cuts or 175 basis points, before the average variable rate falls back under the average 5-year fixed rate.

Link: https://mailchi.mp/bcrea/bank-of-canada-interest-rate-announcement-qlvnj3hf3

For more information, please contact: Gino Pezzani.

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Almost everyone has experienced it: You're smoothly navigating a grocery store with your shopping cart when, suddenly, it squeaks. Quickly, one wheel rebels and spins erratically, and you find yourself struggling with the cart as if it were a stubborn animal.

Why does this issue seem to plague grocery carts? The reason is simple: Unlike carts in pharmacies or clothing stores, which usually carry lighter items and stay indoors, grocery carts endure heavy loads and face the harsh outdoor environment.

This exposure to rain, snow, collisions and debris — especially in parking lots — takes a toll, particularly on the wheels and the caster plates attaching them to the cart, which leads to malfunctions. According to CNN, this wear and tear, coupled with the high replacement cost of more than $200 a cart, explains the frequent cart malfunctions.

So, the next time you wrestle with a wobbly grocery cart, remember it's a small price to pay for the convenience of hauling your heavy groceries. It's also a testament to the unseen battles these carts endure in their daily parking lot adventures.

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World Environment Day, June 5: This day encourages global awareness and action to protect the environment.

Father's Day, June 16: Not an official holiday.

Juneteenth, June 19: A day to commemorate the end of slavery in the United States.

International Yoga Day, June 21: Creating awareness about the holistic nature of yoga and incorporating it into our daily lives.

Take Your Dog to Work Day, June 21: Celebrated annually on the Friday after Father’s Day.

Aboriginal Day, June 21: (NWT only).

Saint-Jean-Baptiste Day - Monday, June 24, 2024: (Quebec only).

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To view the full interactive BCREA Housing Forecast, click here.
To view the full Commercial Leading Indicator PDFclick here.   

The BCREA Commercial Leading Indicator (CLI) fell 3.2 points to 145.5 in the first quarter of 2024, while the six-month moving average fell to 146.5. Compared to the same quarter in 2023, the index was down by 1 per cent. 

First Quarter Highlights

  • The economic activity index declined in Q1. Inflation-adjusted retail trade (-1.7 per cent), wholesale trade (-2.5 per cent), and manufacturing sales (-5.3 per cent) each fell from the previous quarter, pushing the economic component down.

  • Office employment (financial, insurance, real estate, and professional services) fell by 0.4 per cent in the first quarter, while manufacturing employment declined by 1.3 per cent. The employment component declined from the previous quarter, contributing negatively to the index.

  • The financial component of the index also declined in the first quarter. Real Estate Investment Trust (REIT) prices declined by 8.5 per cent, pushing the component down. However, interest rate spreads declined for a second consecutive month, indicating lower borrowing costs for companies relative to the government amid expectations of forthcoming rate cuts. This offset some of the effects of declining REIT prices on the CLI, but on net, the financial component was still slightly negative.

For more information, please contact: Gino Pezzani.

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In the imaginative realms of science fiction, advanced prosthetics like Luke Skywalker's iconic robotic hand, symbolize a future where technology integrates seamlessly with the human body. This future edges closer with each technological leap, notably the development of prosthetic hands that can sense temperature, marking a significant advance for amputees.

These prosthetics, equipped with temperature-sensing fingertips, bridge the gap between loss and recovery by allowing wearers to feel warmth or cold, mimicking the natural sensation of a biological limb. The innovation, known as MiniTouch, uses readily available electronic components, making it a viable option for enhancing existing prosthetic designs with heat-sensing capabilities.

As we venture into this new era, the promise of more sophisticated prosthetics looms on the horizon. The prosthetics market, already exceeding $8 billion, is poised for further growth with these sensory enhancements, turning science fiction dreams into tangible realities and improving the lives of millions.

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The words of Paulo Coelho in "The Alchemist" serve as a beacon for anyone who is on the verge of pursuing a dream or has ever dared to dream: “When you want something, all the universe conspires in helping you to achieve it.”

This profound statement is not just a piece of advice; it's a statement that speaks to the heart of every dreamer.

Imagine that every star in the sky is a guide, every breeze whispers encouragement, and every obstacle is merely a stepping stone on the path to fulfilling your destiny.

For some people, the idea that the universe aligns itself to our desires is a testament to the power of intention and belief, and suggests that our dreams might not be just fleeting wishes but, instead, calls to action — calls that pull us toward our ultimate purpose.

To live by this quote is to embrace the possibility that nothing is too ambitious, too big or too far- fetched.

It's a reminder that the journey toward your dreams might be fraught with challenges that are designed not to deter you, but to forge you into the person who can achieve those dreams.

It’s a reminder that while the path may not always be clear, and the outcomes not always immediate, there is a force greater than ourselves that wants us to succeed.

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Canadian retail sales fell 0.2 per cent to $66.4 billion in March. Excluding volatile items, sales were down 0.6 per cent on a month-over-month basis. In volume terms, adjusted for rising prices, retail sales fell 0.4 per cent in March.

After rising more than 1 per cent in February, retail sales in BC were down by 0.4 per cent in March and were down by 0.4 per cent from the same time last year. In the CMA of Vancouver, retail sales were down 0.1 per cent from the prior month and were up 1 from March 2023. 

Link: https://mailchi.mp/bcrea/canadian-retail-sales-march-2024-may-24-2024

For more information, please contact: Gino Pezzani.

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