(Ottawa) Bank of Canada Governor Tiff Macklem sees a ray of light at the end of the tunnel. His campaign to curb inflation is beginning to yield convincing results. Statistics Canada’s latest data on the Consumer Price Index (CPI), which rose 4.3% in March, fuels hopes that “we are on the way to our destination.”
That destination is an inflation rate of around 2%, a target that should be reached by the end of 2024, Mr. Macklem said during testimony before the House of Commons Finance Committee.
Statistics Canada confirmed Tuesday that CPI growth continued to slow, falling from 5.2% in February to 4.3% in March. By comparison, the CPI had reached an annual high of 8.1% in June 2022.
With this encouraging data in his pocket before joining the committee, Mr. Macklem told MPs that inflation, which is at its lowest level in 19 months, should continue to decline by the summer to reach 3% and settle at 2.5% by the end of the year.
“Inflation is falling rapidly and this morning’s data shows it rose to 4.3% in March and we expect it to be around 3% this summer. We are encouraged by this, but we also understand the importance of staying the course and restoring price stability,” the Bank of Canada chief executive said.
“We know our job is not done until we restore price stability. Price stability is important because it restores competitive forces in the economy and allows Canadians to plan and invest with confidence that their money will retain its value. This is the destination. We are on the right track and we will stay the course,” he also said.
Over the past year, the Bank of Canada has decreed eight consecutive key rate hikes to reduce demand and curb price growth. The key rate thus fell from 0.25% in February 2022 to 4.5% last January. The Bank of Canada has since declared a pause in order to assess the impact of all of its measures on the economy.
According to Mr. Macklem, it will be possible to achieve the goal of bringing the inflation rate back to the 2% target if wage growth moderates and corporate pricing practices normalize. It will also be necessary for the growth in the prices of services to slow down.
That said, Mr. Macklem again warned that the Bank of Canada may have to raise the key rate again if economic circumstances require it to bring inflation back to the 2% target. He also raised the possibility of interest rates remaining high for longer if necessary to restore price stability.