Provincial finance ministers gather in Toronto to talk economy

Finance ministers meet

Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland is hosting an in-person meeting today in Toronto with Canada's provincial and territorial finance ministers. 

The meeting comes at a tense time for many Canadian consumers, with inflation still running hot and interest rates much higher than they were a year ago.

The Bank of Canada raised its key rate again last week, bringing it to 4.5 per cent, but signalled it's taking a pause to let the impact of its aggressive hiking cycle sink in.

The economy is showing signs of slowing, but inflation is still high at 6.3 per cent in December, with food prices in particular remaining elevated year over year. 

Interest rates have put a damper on the housing market, sending prices and sales downward for months on end even as the cost of renting went up in 2022. 

Meanwhile, the labour market has remained strong, with the unemployment rate nearing record lows in December at five per cent. 

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