Canadians will find out Tuesday whether inflation is showing clear signs of easing nationwide when Statistics Canada releases July’s Consumer Price Index (CPI).
Economists at RBC Economics predict the country likely hit peak inflation in June, forecasting July’s annual rate will fall to 7.7 per cent compared with 8.1 per cent a month earlier.
But has B.C already hit peak ahead of the rest of Canada?
Despite the West Coast experiencing inflation levels not seen in decades, this surge in B.C. consumer prices notably trailed national figures for most of 2022.
It was a trend one TD economist described as a “puzzler” and a “curious case.”
The B.C. inflation surged by a remarkable 1.4 percentage points to land at 8.1 per cent between April and May, overtaking the national rate (7.7 per cent) for the first time this year.
The national rate then grew from 7.7 per cent to 8.1 per cent between May and June. B.C. inflation fell from 8.1 per cent to 7.9 per cent during that same period.
If next week’s CPI numbers show B.C. inflation has fallen for a second consecutive month it would be a clear sign the province hit peak inflation in May – one month ahead of the rest of Canada if RBC’s forecasts are correct.
“The rapid rise in Canadian inflation likely slowed in July as global commodity prices fell – mirroring a drop in the U.S. inflation earlier this week,” RBC assistant chief economist Nathan Janzen and economist Carrie Freestone said in an Aug. 12 note.
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