Economic Outlook

What is Inflation?

It’s been almost 40 years since the world has experienced inflation the way we are experiencing it now. Today, rising inflation poses a severe risk to people’s financial future.

But what causes inflation? And how will it affect your wealth? Our good friend Neil McIver of McIver Capital Management walks us through it.

B.C. economy cooling quickly as labour shortages squeeze growth: TD

There was little expectation going into 2022 that B.C. would be able to maintain last year’s surge of economic growth following in the wake of initial pandemic paralysis.

But the province now appears to have become a “victim of its own success,” according to TD economists who forecast growth will fall a full point to 3.8 per cent in 2022 compared with a year earlier.

“A strong recovery from the pandemic has fuelled intense labour shortages. This challenge is likely to keep the province from achieving even stronger growth this year,” Friday’s report stated.

Earlier this month the Bank of Canada hiked its overnight rate for the first time since 2018 – a vote of confidence for the strength of the economy as well as an effort to tamp down on record inflation.

Central banks across the globe slashed rates to record lows in the wake of the pandemic to inject cheap capital into the economy and keep investment flowing. But that flood of capital, coupled with unprecedented supply chain disruptions, helped drive Canada’s annual rate of inflation to 5.7 per cent as of February – a level not seen since August 1991…read more.

Russians are attempting to sell McDonald’s menu items online at highly inflated prices, following the closure of more than 800 restaurants in the country.

Insider viewed multiple listings on Avito, a Russian classified-ads website, which offered products including Big Macs and McMuffins. Avito is described on LinkedIn as the most popular classifieds site in Russia and the second-biggest in the world.

One Moscow-based seller advertised a Big Mac for the equivalent of around $36. The figure is based on exchange rates at time of writing. In Russia, the burger would usually cost 135 roubles, or around $1, according to The Economist’s Big Mac index.

Another seller recently posted a “McDonald’s Breakfast,” including McMuffins, potato pancakes, and sauces for around $18.

In a listing translated into English, the seller said they were offering the items to “those who want to enjoy the last taste of a bygone era.”…read more.

Falcon slams NDP for high gasoline tax, housing prices

Kevin Falcon, new leader of the BC Liberal Party, laid into BC NDP government policies today – from gasoline taxes to housing initiatives – that he said are making it hard for ordinary British Columbians to get by.

B.C., especially Vancouver, has been seeing record-breaking gasoline prices in recent days, with gas prices in Vancouver inching towards $2 per litre.

While there are geopolitical reasons for soaring oil prices that are driving up gasoline prices everywhere, including the war in Ukraine, they are particularly painful in Vancouver due to a suite of fuel taxes, Falcon said.

Asked if he thought a gasoline price cap similar to what New Brunswick has is the answer to high gas prices, Falcon said it wasn’t.

“No — that kind of interference in the marketplace, frankly it won’t work,” Falcon said.

He said the government had a tool for lowering taxes for British Columbians as carbon taxes on gasoline rise – revenue neutrality – but pointed out that the NDP government scrapped the revenue neutrality requirement of B.C.’s carbon tax…read more.

BoC hikes key rate, revises inflation forecast

OTTAWA – The Bank of Canada has raised its key interest rate for the first time since slashing the benchmark rate to near-zero at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, in a bid to tackle inflation rates that are likely to keep rising from their current three-decade high.

The central bank increased its key rate by a quarter of a percentage point to 0.5 per cent on Wednesday in a bid to help fight inflation, which is at its highest level since 1991.

The move prompted Royal Bank and TD to raise their prime lending rates — and other big banks were expected to follow — to increase the cost of loans such as variable-rate mortgages that are linked to the central bank’s benchmark rate.

In making its announcement, the Bank of Canada said it expects inflation to be higher in the near-term than previously thought. The central bank warned that this week’s rate hike won’t be the last, with economists expecting multiple increases before the end of the year…read more.