Will Surging Inflation Make the BoC Hike Early?

Canada’s inflation rate soared in December to a 30-year high amid surging grocery and housing prices. The headline inflation rate rose to 4.8%, up from 4.7% in November, and ahead of analyst expectations.

The price growth marks the ninth month of inflation exceeding the Bank of Canada’s target zone of one to three percent. The highest gains were for food, housing and automobiles. Grocery prices climbed year-over-year by 5.7%, and housing, which climbed by 9.3% compared with December 2020.

While gains at the gas pumps were 33.3% year over year, as Omicron weighed on prices. Gasoline prices were down from the 43.6% in November.

The data will come into focus at the Bank of Canada meeting next week. Analysts and economists are of the increasing consensus that the central bank will hike rates 25 basis points, another 25-point hike in March, followed by several more hikes, to bring the rate 2.25% by the end of 2023.