With the aftermath of the credit crisis still unfolding, 2009 began with much uncertainty amid the onset of the first global recession since 1991. Like today's slowdown, that recession was also preceded by a crisis in the banking sector; namely the collapse of a number of U.S. Savings and Loans companies which contributed to the erosion of consumer and investor confidence. The '91 recession was long and far reaching and lasted nearly 2 years. In comparison the National Bureau of Economic Research announced in December 2008 that the U.S. officially entered into recession in December 2007, with the global economy following suit in mid 2008. Thus the current global recession is already well underway and in many countries has already had more of an economic impact than its '91 cousin.
Despite this, today, there is reason for optimism. Equity markets have rallied substantially from their March lows, consumer and investor confidence is returning, the housing sector is showing signs of stabilization and in some cases strength, credit is beginning to flow, manufacturing activity in the U.S. is increasing and the pace of job losses is slowing. While it would be premature to call the recession over, it appears that the worst is behind us and many economists are now predicting a rebound in global economic growth in the fourth quarter of 2009.
While the future certainly looks brighter, you can expect to continue to see high levels of volatility in equity markets and to hear about soaring unemployment rates. It is even possible that inflationary pressures will begin to surface a source of concern, given the staggering amount of stimulus that has thus far been injected into the global economy. Moving forward it is imperative that we continue to filter out the shorter term "noise" of the markets and the economy and continue to focus on our own long term goals and objectives. In doing so, we can ensure we have the right plan in place for you.
I would also like to bring to your attention a number of positive changes that have occurred both at my firm as well as in the Canadian investment landscape. These changes include the introduction of the new tax free savings account which allows you to save up to $5,000 per year tax free, phased retirement, and our new charitable giving partnership with Canada Gives, which allows you to set up your own charitable foundation. I am also excited about the launch of our Individual Pension Plan, which is a great retirement savings idea geared towards small business owners and incorporated professionals. Please feel free to give us a call to see which of these new initiatives may be right for you.
In closing, I would like to thank you for your continued support and I look forward to working with you in the months and years ahead. If there is any way that I can be of assistance to you, please know that my team and I are here to serve you in any way we can.
I hope that you have a safe and happy summer, look for our quarterly newsletter coming soon.