Two economic headlines a week apart – the Bank of Canada’s 1 per cent hike in the overnight rate last week, and the 8.1 per cent year-over-year increase in the Consumer Price Index Wednesday – make clear that we are at a major turning point. The Bank has underlined its determination to get inflation, which it admits it underestimated, back to its 2-per-cent target. Canadians can look forward to lower inflation, and also need to be ready for the recession that will precede it.

Although the Bank’s hike was larger than most forecasters expected, the June CPI report validated the big move. Canadians too young to have experienced inflation like this before are discovering what older Canadians already knew: inflation is bad. It erodes …

Two years ago, during a pandemic-induced recession, the unemployment rate was in double-digits and nearly three million workers lost their jobs. Yet for the job market, it seems like ages ago. Canada’s job numbers have bounced back, and with national unemployment rates hovering at all-time lows, we are suddenly confronted (again) with labour and skills shortages.

The inability of employers to find workers with the right skills to fill record-high vacancies is dampening Canada’s economic growth and competitiveness. It also affects health care access and contributes to inflationary pressure, disrupting supply chains and, more broadly, limiting our ability to make headway in raising living standards and in transitioning to a lower…

On Wednesday, the Bank of Canada increased the scope of its interest rate increases, raising its overnight rate target by 100 basis points to 2.5 per cent. We haven’t seen a hike that big in recent memory, and the target rate is now higher than at any time since before the financial crisis in 2008.

With mortgage and other market interest rates increasing with the overnight rate, fears of a recession are mounting. There are two big questions. First, are there alternatives to the blunt overnight rate for fighting inflation? Second, how bad will the recession need to be to bring inflation back down? Unfortunately, the answer to the first question is no, there aren’t any viable alternatives. However, the recession that could result…