Canada continues to contend with one of the developed world’s most severe housing shortages. As our borders open to a resurgence of immigration, excess demand for housing will mount. The impediments to a rapid rise in housing supply, both for rent and purchase, are primarily in the planning and approvals process at the municipal level. Liberal Party election promises do not address these issues.
Inflation pressures are mounting everywhere. The US just posted a year-over-year inflation rate for October at 6.2%–higher than expected. This Wednesday, Canada’s CPI data will be released. We saw a y/y inflation rate of 4.4% in September. Undoubtedly, the October data will surpass that level. Maybe that is why Tiff Macklem wrote an op-ed in the Financial Times today reiterating that the Bank of Canada is getting closer to raising interest rates as slack in the economy dissipates. This is in line with the hawkish BoC policy statement last month.
“For the policy interest rate, our forward guidance has been clear that we will not raise interest rates until economic slack is absorbed,” Macklem wrote. “We are not there yet, but we are getting closer.”
According to Bloomberg News, Macklem reiterated that the Bank of Canada’s view is still that recent inflationary pressures will ease. Yet, he acknowledged that a high level of uncertainty remains. “Supply disruptions appear to be lasting longer than we thought, and energy price increases are adding to current inflation rates,” he wrote.
“While our analysis continues to indicate that these pressures will ease, we have taken them into account for the dynamics of supply and demand,” Macklem said. “What our resolve does mean is that if we end up being wrong about the persistence of inflationary pressures and how much slack remains in the economy, we will adjust.”