Weekly Digest – 28 February 2024

Welcome to our Weekly Digest – stay in the know with some recent news updates relevant to business and the economy.

Inflation in Canada slows

Canada’s inflation rate slowed in January to a 2.9% increase, compared to December’s 3.5% hike, according to Statistics Canada. This slowdown keeps the Bank of Canada on track for a potential interest rate cut in June. Lower costs for fresh vegetables and air travel contributed to the reduced inflation.

Is fatherhood more appealing than motherhood? What new research shows

A US study found that men are more eager to have children than women. The research, which surveyed 1,000 men and women, revealed that 24% of men compared to 15% of women expressed a strong desire to have children. The study also found that men were more likely to regret not having children.

Grocers face uphill battle to regain customers’ trust, experts say

Rising food costs in Canada are reportedly being driven by big grocers’ inflation. Despite the Canadian Food Price Report predicting a 2-4% increase in food prices, some experts believe major grocery chains are using inflation as an excuse to raise prices beyond this. This could disproportionately impact low-income households.

December retail boost likely won’t last as January sales forecast to contract

Canadian retail sales surged 1.3% in December, beating expectations, as consumers spent more on building materials and garden equipment, as well as food and beverages. The gain, which followed a 2.6% decline in November, suggests resilience in consumer spending despite the Omicron variant’s impact on the economy.

Gas prices: Victoria gets double-digit increase, as Canadian average falls

Gas prices in Victoria, Canada, have seen a double-digit increase even as the national average falls. The price hike is due to the ongoing Trans Mountain pipeline expansion project and a refinery shutdown in Washington State. The increase is impacting consumers and businesses, causing concerns over the cost of living.

Structural factors’ driving shelter inflation as BoC faces communication challenge: economist

Canada’s housing market is experiencing inflation due to structural factors, such as low interest rates and limited supply, says economist David Doyle. The Bank of Canada faces challenges in communicating these issues, which are contributing to overall inflation. Doyle suggests the central bank should focus on core inflation, excluding volatile items like shelter.

Bank of Canada to cut interest rates in half by end of next year: Desjardins

The Bank of Canada is predicted to slash interest rates in half by the end of 2025, according to Desjardins Group. The measure is a response to the country’s ballooning debt levels and slow economic growth. The cut aims to stimulate the economy by making borrowing cheaper for businesses and consumers.
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