TOP News

Canada: Higher inflation in Canada and the U.S. could last years, economists say

USA TODAY Sports picks every medal for every Olympic event

  USA TODAY Sports picks every medal for every Olympic event Simone Biles will lead the way for the Americans with five golds in our projection, which has Team USA winning 133 medals, its most since 1984.That total estimate would be the greatest number of medals earned by the U.S. since the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics when the host nation raked in 174. Fifty-nine gold medals would be the U.S.’s best since earning 83 in Los Angeles. The U.S. ranked No. 1 in total medals and gold medals for the past two consecutive Summer Olympics in Rio (121 total, 46 gold) and London (104 total, 46 gold).

Inflation has been on the rise in both Canada and the U.S. Some economists are starting to worry that the faster pace of price increases could last years. © Jonathan Hayward/CP Inflation has been on the rise in both Canada and the U.S. Some economists are starting to worry that the faster pace of price increases could last years.

When inflation reared its head in North America this spring, the common view was that it would be just a temporary bout of price increases. Now, though, many analysts aren't so sure.

"Inflation rates of three, four — or yes, even five per cent — could be with us for a year or two," says Douglas Porter, chief economist with Bank of Montreal.

Economists surveyed by the Wall Street Journal this month had a similar outlook for U.S. inflation, with forecasts of sustained price increases lasting until 2023.

Why Canada women's soccer team's win over Chile bodes well for Olympic gold medal chase, match vs. Great Britain

  Why Canada women's soccer team's win over Chile bodes well for Olympic gold medal chase, match vs. Great Britain The Canadian national team's win was a narrow one, but there was plenty of good to come out of the 2-1 victory over Chile with a matchup against Great Britain looming to close out Group E.After missing a penalty kick, Janine Beckie scored both Canada goals on either side of halftime to account for all the scoring the Canadians needed. But then they had to sweat it out. Down 2-0, 37th-ranked Chile mounted a comeback, cutting the deficit on a penalty kick before hitting the crossbar on a near equalizer in the 73rd minute.

South of the border, the pace of inflation accelerated to 5.4 per cent in June, the highest year-over-year increase in consumer prices the U.S. has seen in 13 years. In Canada, inflation reached 3.6 per cent in May, the largest yearly increase since May 2011. Statistics Canada will release the June numbers on Wednesday morning.

North of the 49th parallel, inflation has so far remained more subdued than in the U.S, likely due to both economic factors and accounting differences.

Read more: Some salaries up ‘drastically’ as Canada feels impact of labour shortages

For one, Canada is further behind its southern neighbour on the path of economic recovery, Porter notes. The recent strength of the Canadian dollar, which has been trading at around $0.80 US, has also tempered inflationary pressures, Porter adds.

An Olympic-sized silver lining: Jen Abel and Melissa Citrini-Beaulieu finish second in 3m synchro diving

  An Olympic-sized silver lining: Jen Abel and Melissa Citrini-Beaulieu finish second in 3m synchro diving TOKYO — Their specialty being synchronization, perhaps this shouldn’t come as a surprise. Canada’s duo of Jennifer Abel and Melissa Citrini-Beaulieu, having just come up clutch with a dive that would seal a silver medal, climbed out of the pool at Tokyo Aquatic Centre, wrapped their arms around each other for a hug and seemed to burst into tears at the exact same time. Fitting. Back home in Canada, anybody awake in the wee hours to watch this three-metre synchro springboard showdown may have needed a tissue too. “It was a moment of, ‘We got it. We made it,’ ” said Abel, a four-time Olympian who also has a bronze keepsake from London 2012. “It was a proud moment.

And then there's the fact that used car prices, which have been a major driver of U.S. inflation, haven't risen quite as much in Canada and aren't included in Statistics Canada's consumer price index, he says.

But even in Canada the latest inflation data has raised red flags.

One reason why many had initially dismissed higher inflation rates earlier this year as transitory was the fact they reflected year-over-year comparisons with March and April of 2020, which had seen steep price declines due to the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Read more: Rising interest rates will be ‘No. 1 issue’ for Canada’s housing market, economists say

But even measures of core inflation that strip out the more volatile components of the Consumer Price Index have climbed above the Bank of Canada's two-per cent inflation target, notes Steve Ambler, a professor of economics at the Université du Québec à Montréal and David Dodge Chair in Monetary Policy at the C.D. Howe Institute.

gold price: calm before the storm?

 gold price: calm before the storm? In the evening, beyond the Atlantic, the interest decision of the US Federal Reserve as well as the press conference with Fed boss Jerome Powell in front of the door. For increased voltage would be ensured. © Provided by finanzen.net Indranil Mukherjee / AFP / Getty Images by Jörg Bernhard In the past, surprisingly "Falken Tones" have taken care of for uncertainty and sales pressure on the gold markets for uncertainty and sales pressure. In view of a current inflation rate of 5.4 percent P.A.

"There's reason for being a little bit worried about whether this can keep on or how long it will keep on," Ambler says.

At the heart of the current inflationary spell is a mismatch between demand and supply, economists say. On the one hand, soaring vaccination rates and loosening COVID-19 restrictions have quickly brought back demand from consumers who, after months cooped up at home, are eager to spend.

On the other hand, the supply of goods and services Canadians and Americans have, in many instances, hasn't ramped up fast enough.

Earlier this year, for example, lumber prices spiked as sawmills, which had pared back production right at the start of the health emergency, scrambled to meet skyrocketing demand from home builders and renovators amid the pandemic housing boom. In May, prices reached an all-time high of more than US$1,600 per 1,000 board-feet, up from around US$400 per thousand board feet in February 2020.

Read more: Some used cars are now selling for as much as new models. Here’s why

It's a similar story in the auto market. Car manufacturers dialed back their orders of microchips — essential for anything from infotainment systems to engines in new vehicles — when they scaled back production at the start of the pandemic. Now, automakers are having trouble getting their hands on enough of the chips, an issue that has slowed down the production of new cars and trucks and spilled over into the used-car market.

Advisory council could strip Julie Payette of her Order of Canada

  Advisory council could strip Julie Payette of her Order of Canada As governor general, Julie Payette presented one of the country's most prestigious civilian honours to hundreds of accomplished Canadians. Now, an advisory council is thinking about taking her own Order of Canada away.CBC News has learned the 11-member Advisory Council for the Order of Canada, chaired by Chief Justice Richard Wagner — who took over the governor general's duties for six months after Payette stepped down — is considering whether to terminate Payette's appointment to the Order of Canada.

With fewer cars and trucks rolling off factory floors, more car buyers are turning to second-hand vehicles. At the same time, for the same reason, both drivers and rental companies are holding on to their vehicles for longer, which is reducing the number of used cars available for sale. The result is soaring prices for preowned vehicles.

And while many forecasters had initially waved off the supply constraints as temporary kinks of the pandemic recovery, concern is growing that some of the backlogs and backlogs will take a long time to clear.

The timeline for resolving the microchip shortage, for one, "keeps getting pushed further and further," Porter notes.

And in addition to higher costs for material, goods and shipping, many businesses are also butting up against another shortage: workers.

In Canada small businesses are having a tough time recruiting part-time workers especially, says Dan Kelly, president and CEO of the Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB).

It's a problem Kelly blames on federal COVID-19 income supports like the Canada Recovery Benefit (CRB).

Ottawa has already started scaling back the level of benefits provided, but CRB still pays $300 a week pre-tax. That is twice as much the $150 someone would earn working 10 hours a week at $15 an hour, Kelly notes. Abd while being available for work is a requirement for receiving CRB, the rule is "poorly enforced," according to Kelly.

Letters to the editor: 'Let us not allow bilingualism to trump competency'

  Letters to the editor: 'Let us not allow bilingualism to trump competency' Good luck to our ‘admirably suitable’ new Governor General Re: Box-ticking diversity appointments aren’t the only way for Ottawa to represent a diverse Canada, Tasha Kheiriddin, July 20; Bilingualism is the enemy of Ottawa’s inclusivity agenda, Chris Selley, July 21; Canada’s self-esteem problem, Conrad Black, July 24; French not required, Letters to the editor, July 23; and Mary Simon language debate highlights tensions between bilingualism and inclusivity, Rupa Subramanya, July 21 Tasha Kheiriddin points out that Mary Simon is not “perfect.

"For many part-time workers, they are actually better off while remaining on benefits than they would be going back into the workforce," he says.

But workers may also be concerned about whether it’s safe to return to work, especially in front line jobs, economist Mikal Skuterud of the University of Waterloo, previously told Global News.

A lack of child care options may also hinder some parents' ability to return to work, Skuterud says. The pandemic has forced some daycare centres out of business, while many summer camps operators decided to stay closed in 2021.

In the U.S., historic labour shortages have propelled wage growth for low-income workers, as businesses in the retail, restaurant and tourism industry compete to attract new staff. In Canada, there is still little hard data pointing to upward pressure on salaries, although anecdotal accounts of employers bidding up wages abound.

To foot the bill for higher wages without raising prices for customers, businesses generally need to increase productivity — that is, raising output per worker, Skuterud told Global News. Without a productivity boost, though, higher wages tend to translate into inflation rather than lasting gains for workers, he added.

"If we actually see wage increases begin to accelerate in quite a broad-based fashion, that's how (inflation) could become a little bit more a bit of an issue that lasts longer," Porter says.

Another factor that might be contributing to the price increases is consumers' unusual willingness to tolerate higher prices, Ambler says.

Many Canadians are likely not only aching to spend more but also able to do so after saving up during months of low-key living in the pandemic, he notes.

"Demand is is so pent up that people are going to be happy to be able to go out and spend, even if things are more expensive," he says.

Ultimately, what could really turn a temporary stretch of inflation into a longer-lasting phenomenon is consumers, workers and businesses believing that prices will continue to rise at a faster clip, Porter says.

"We've been in a two-per cent inflation world for about 30 years now," he says. But a collective mind shift can become an "almost become a self-fulfilling prophecy."

Venezuela. Faced with inflation, the country will remove six zeros to its national currency .
© Ronald PENA / EPA / MAXPPP A person holds banknotes in Bolivars in Caracas, Venezuela, July 28, 2021. Venezuela, Who has been undergoing a major economic crisis for several years, will remove six zeros to his national currency, the Bolivar. This decision will enter into force on October 1, 2021.

See also