Good morning. Here's your Labour Day reminder to ensure your out-of-office (OOO) message is set. For tips on crafting an OOO message that strikes the right balance between fun and effective (and what to avoid), check out this helpful guide from The Cut.
In this edition:
💵 The tea on GDP
💃 All the single ladies!
🚀 Not your crypto bro
— Vindhya Kolluru, Editor
What the latest economic data does and doesn’t tell us
A lil refresher: GDP is a broad measure of the monetary value of goods and services produced in a country. In other words, it tells us about a nation’s economic output — the higher the GDP, the better. GDP also helps economists determine if we’re in (or headed towards) a recession. Generally, we’re in recession territory when there are two back-to-back quarters of declining economic output.
So, should we be worried about a recession? It's hard to say. Last week, Statistics Canada reported GDP declined by 0.1% in July, which may be an early sign that we are heading into a recession. But based on the working definition of a recession (which is unofficial and up for debate), we would need to see a consistent contraction of the economy between July and December.
But GDP alone doesn't tell us the full story. It's worth noting that recessions typically mean that more people are losing their jobs and spending less. But so far, that doesn't seem to be the case in Canada, where the unemployment rate sits at a record low and people are spending to their heart's content.
- While some economists predict the economy won’t grow in the third quarter, others are optimistic that the strong job market, increase in consumer spending, and gains in the agricultural sector will keep the expanding economy going for the rest of the year.
...And then there's the interest rate hikes: If history is any indicator, interest rate hikes typically predate a recession. Economists expect the Bank of Canada (BoC) to announce a 0.75 percentage point rate hike this week, which would push the overnight rate to 3.25%. (While some experts anticipate this will be the last increase from the BoC, others think there will be more over the next six months, reaching 3.75% in 2023 😬).
The bottom line: While things aren’t looking too hot right now, we’re not in a recession just yet. Rising interest rates will slow the economy to (hopefully) push down inflation but, coupled with factors like the decline in the housing market, this could push us into a recession in the latter half of 2023.
— Sydney Piggott
All the single ladies, all the single ladies 🎶
For the 40% of Canadians who are single, the financial costs are high. “You carry the costs of everything, and you are responsible for every financial decision — so it can seem overwhelming,” Renée Sylvestre-Williams, the founder of The Budgette, tells us.
- Sylvestre-Williams says single people may lack the financial safety net that couples with two main sources of income have.
- Another major downside is that entering the housing or rental market is much more difficult on a single income. (As of August, a one-bedroom rental unit cost around $2,500 a month in Vancouver and $2,257 in Toronto.)
With the cost of living so high, co-ownership and alternative household arrangements are becoming more common, yet our long-term financial safety net considers couples above all else. For instance, you can’t split your pension with siblings, even if you live in the same household. “If I wanted to move in with a really good friend of mine, like a paired down Golden Girls situation, why can’t we be an economic household unit?” says Sylvestre-Williams.
If governments do find themselves drafting Golden Girl policies, we are so here for that.
But until then, what’s a single gal to do? Lisa Hannam, executive director of MoneySense.ca, suggests setting up an emergency fund and talking to your HR department to find out what supports are available for you, should you become disabled or are unable to work for a long time. Sitting down with a financial advisor is an important step, as well.
- If you have no clue where to begin with financial planning, Sylvestre-Williams says it's just as helpful to be transparent and tell your advisor: “Look, I don’t know what I want, but I think this is where I want to be. How do I get there?”
But there is one clear advantage to the single life: You're in full control of your finances. "There's no risk of having another person's bad habits affecting not just you and your own habits, but your finances, too,” Hannam tells us. (On the flip side, you only have yourself to blame for going goblin mode at the mall.)
— Paisley Sim
Other things we read and we liked
🍻 Meet four women who are reshaping the bro-y Canadian craft beer industry. Cheers!
🎨 What does it actually mean to have a hobby, especially at a time when we’re living so much of our lives online?
🛩 Bookmark this useful five-step strategy for dealing with flight disruptions.
👀 Speaking of how expensive it is to be single, some women are making cold hard cash through a dating app called Meete (which also happens to be trending on TikTok). But is it too good to be true?
☕️ Love it or hate it, Starbucks' pumpkin spice latte is back — and it's causing quite the stir.
MONEY CRUSH MONDAY
Julia Baranovskaya's journey into the cryptocurrency industry
Today, Btchcoin is spotlighting Julia Baranovskaya, the chief compliance officer of National Digital Asset Exchange, better known as NDAX. NDAX is a Canadian cryptocurrency trading platform that lets you can buy and sell popular digital currencies, like Bitcoin. In a space that is widely dominated by men, Baranovskaya is not the bro type you might associate the crypto industry with.
Her advice if you want to enter the crypto industry: I always tell people to start by finding out what exactly they want to do and then acquiring the skills for the job that they want. Currently, there are not many experts in the space and this is the time for anyone, even with limited skills and knowledge, to enter the space and learn from within.
Her book recs: Long Walk to Freedom (an autobiography by Nelson Mandela) and Elon Musk: Tesla, SpaceX, and the Quest for a Fantastic Future by Ashlee Vance.
If she could give one piece of advice: If you don't try, you will never know what you missed out on.
Her WFH must-haves: A comfortable chair, a nice mouse pad, three screens, a notepad (I love the satisfaction of crossing tasks off) and wireless headphones. Oh, and coffee!
Get to know Baranovskaya and her day-to-day at NDAX by reading our full Q&A with her.
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