Optimism or pessimism in 2016?
As most people finally get a moment to catch their breath from a busy Christmas season, a period of rest and reflection can begin. Many will consider the year that is coming to a close and look forward to a fresh start into a new year.
If your glass of eggnog is half empty, there is much to be concerned with. However, if you are an optimist then a fresh start brings exciting new opportunities.
The price of fuel is unexpectedly low, and should reflect lower through the course of the coming months. Without analyzing the consequences of low fuel prices, the average Islander will be warmer with a few extra dollars in the jeans each month.
For many Islanders federal income taxes will drop, symbolically, this year and provincial minimum wages will increase. Again, complexities to both of these actions but the net result is most people will have a little more money to circulate in the economy and hopefully stimulate our local businesses.
Unfortunately, some people will not maintain their employment in 2016. While financially and emotionally disruptive, this too creates an opportunity. A chance to reinvent your position in the labour market, maybe adapt to entrepreneurship or transform to a new career. Change can be good and in the medium-term things tend to balance out net positive.
Anyone who doesn't make an income from snow removal has to be skipping along sidewalks these days. We have been spared a good six weeks of winter. At this point we realistically have not more than 10 weeks left. The days are getting longer and we can look forward to an occasional thaw to keep spirits up.
What are we missing? We touched on the weather, the economy, price of fuel....oh yes,... politics.
Well there is something to be said for having political alignment on the federal and provincial levels. The stars have connected from that perspective, but they are well lined up across the nation potentially diluting gross impacts. If ever there ever were a time in our economy where we may look to federal economic investment, this would be the period. I am optimistic the economy will benefit from this alignment in 2016.
With enthusiasm for reasons beyond those touched upon I am optimistic about the coming year, closing 2015 and a fresh start to a new calendar year. Wishing all the best of the season and into the new year!