Tracking the movements of an economy has become something of a science.
Everyone is trying to find tools or indicators that will provide some insight into where the marketplace is headed. Knowing that direction in advance just might give you an advantage.
For most of the big indicators – things like employment or consumer confidence – we have a range of metrics that each provide a little piece of the picture.
On the consumer side we look at retail spending, home purchases, wages and vehicle buying patterns to see if we can identify a trend. But that is not always easy because seasonality can creep in and cause some distortions.
New vehicle purchasing is a good case in point.
In the past year-and-a-half, Saskatchewan auto dealers have seen volumes ranging from 3,500 units a month to more than 5,600.
It’s tough to find a trend in there but we do know that spring and summer are better than fall and winter for car dealers. The latest numbers we have come from November.
Volume? Almost 4,400, which is dead centre in the range.