Inflation rate rises to 30-year high

Inflation rate rises to 30-year high

Last month, the consumer price index increased at a pace we have not seen in just over three decades, mounting pressure on the Bank of Canada to intervene and address interest rates.

As reported by Statistics Canada earlier today, inflation rose from 4.7 per cent in November to 4.8 per cent in December. Grocery prices increased by 5.7 per cent, the biggest annual hike since 2011.

The report said "Unfavourable weather conditions in growing regions, as well as supply chain disruptions." were behind this increase.

Pierre Polievre places the blame solely on the federal government, explaining that a country with a wealth of food and energy resources should have a better handle on the matter.

"The biggest increases for consumer products have been those that we source right here at home, not those that depend on foreign supply chains," he said

"Home price inflation is a home-grown problem," he expanded, suggesting that record federal spending under Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is the main reason for inflation. "The more he spends, the more things cost," Poilievre added.

The report fortifies the likelihood that the Bank of Canada, led by Tiff Macklem, could roll out a rate increase cycle very soon. Many economists are expecting up to six increases over the next year.

The Bank of Canada just released a survey it sent out to business executives in last year's fourth quarter. There were resounding mentions of labor shortages, rising inflation expectations and increased demand. Almost 80 per cent of businesses said they think they'll need to expedite wage increases to keep and entice new employees.

The survey pushed economists to accelerate their forecasts in regards to the central bank's policy rate increases. The benchmark 0.25 rate has held steady since March 2020.

Inflation has outpaced the central bank's 1 per cent to 3 per cent preferred range for nine consecutive months, as global supply chain interruptions and difficulties push prices upward. Canada first introduced inflation focusing in the early 1990's, and the average since then has been at around 1.8 per cent.