A number is never just a number: Gloom and doom 2012

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• Gloom and doom

Many international bodies, including the IMF and the OECD, grimly warn 2012 may usher in more global economic turmoil. (Source

• Derailed recovery

The IMF warns Europe's fiscal troubles, combined with high Canadian household debt and overvalued housing could derail Canada's economic recovery. (Source

• Recession or slow growth?

The OECD predicts Canada's economy will do better than the G7 nations, but it's not alone in predicting 2012 will be a year of slow growth. It warns global policy makers to prepare for the worst. (Source, Source, Source, and Source

• Decoupling

BMO deputy chief economist Doug Porter predicts the North American economies will follow their own path, decoupling from the turmoil of the European economy. (Source

• Housing market correction

Low interest rates may still be attracting buyers, but many experts predict Canada's overheated housing market is headed for a correction in 2012. (Source, Source and Source

• Household debt problems

Bank of Canada Governor Mark Carney calls Canadians' record-high household debt levels the biggest threat to Canada's economy, which could spell trouble in 2012. (Source

• Banks at risk

Moody's warns Canada's banks could be exposed to risk in 2012 due to high levels of unsecured consumer debt in the form of credit cards and lines of credit. (Source

• More unemployment

Economists predict ‘soft job creation', saying Canada's 7.4 per cent unemployment rate could worsen in 2012. (Source, Source and Source

• Labour unrest

The Conference Board of Canada predicts more work stoppages in Canada's public sector in 2012, as governments tighten the screws on workers in the name of austerity. (Source

• Eroding consumer confidence

Observers predict Canada's consumer confidence, which is at its lowest point since the 2008-09 recession, will slow to a "shallow growth" in 2012.  (SourceSource and Source

• Inflation

The Bank of Canada expects overall inflation in Canada to decline by one per cent by mid-2012 as gasoline prices continue to drop. (Source

• New leaders

Psychic Blair Robertson, who allegedly predicted March's Japan earthquake and Tsunami, predicts Thomas Mulcair will secure the NDP's leadership race and Bob Rae will change his mind to secure the Liberal leadership. He also predicts Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird will adopt a cat with a "loud meow". (Source)

The Canadian Centre for Policy Alternative's Trish Hennessy has long been a fan of Harper Magazine's one-page list of eye-popping statistics, Harper's Index. Instead of wishing for a Canadian version to magically appear, she's created her own index -- a monthly listing of numbers about Canada and its place in the world. Hennessy's Index -- A number is never just a number -- comes out on the first of each month.

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