The Toronto Stock Market was rolling upward all day yesterday, and closed at more than 10,000 points for the first time in six months.

"I'm not convinced that we're climbing out of the (recession) yet," said Dr. Ken McKenzie of the economics department at the University of Calgary.

"Some of the leading indicators, the stock market is certainly one, would suggest that we might be beginning to approach the bottom, but stock markets can turn around very, very quickly, as we've seen in the last 18 months."

McKenzie said it would be foolhardy for anyone to think the recession is over and done with based on a single day of positive market activity, and he delivers an equal measure of caution about the price of oil, which closed on Wednesday at well over $56 a barrel.

"It's difficult to predict oil prices into the short and medium terms," he said. "But I think the long term trends, most people would agree, are that the price will begin to increase."

Even so, the Alberta government is on course for a nearly $5-billion budget deficit, and Ottawa is predicting a deficit of nearly $34 billion.

In Calgary, the evidence of continuing economic difficulty can be seen everywhere in the downtown core. At least nine elaborate condo projects are now abandoned wastelands, with one developer having already filed for bankruptcy protection.

 
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