EDITORIAL: Inflation keeps on going up
Canadian consumers aren’t about to get a reprieve from surging prices anytime soon. The latest inflation numbers are in, and the upward trend continues.
On Wednesday, it was revealed that the consumer price index surged 4.7% in October compared to a year earlier. That’s a jump from last month’s news, that the average year-over-year price gains were 4.4%.
“Inflation is nearing its fastest pace since the Bank of Canada began using the consumer price index to set interest rates in the early 1990s, increasing the odds that the central bank will raise borrowing costs early in the new year,” observes Financial Post columnist Kevin Carmichael.
The key lending rate is what top bankers are thinking about right now. But regular Canadians are just thinking about how this is hitting them in the pocketbooks.
Have Canadians received 5% wage increases to make up for inflation? Some will have. Most probably have not.
Have Canadians earned more than 5% in their retirement funds and savings to make up for the erosion of value that inflation causes? Many funds will have outpaced this, yes, but not everyone has money put away.
Then there’s the fact that this is an average price. There are many food staples that have gone up higher than this amount. People see this in the grocery store aisles.
The price of meat has surged 10%. That adds a lot to monthly grocery bills if you’re working to feed a family.
Now the question we face is whether or not this phenomenon is transitory — meaning will inflation die down soon, once all of the strange economics around COVID sorts itself out, or will it only continue and get even worse.
Nobody knows. It could go either way, and economists are now debating that point.