Energy price rises due to tax increases, tariffs and price distorting power of oil cartel not a measure of true inflation

A number of Canadian analysts have responded to the news that Canadian “inflation” has risen to 2.5 % a level above the Bank of Canada’s target rate of 2 % as a justification for arguing that the central bank ought to continue to raise the rates. But how credible is that policy advice?  If we look more deeply at the data we discover that almost all of the rise in prices is due to tax hikes and the actions of the oil cartel. Given this fact it makes no sense to argue that core inflation has risen to above a key trigger point. Furthermore given the negative trade atmosphere it makes even less sense that we should approve of slowing economic growth and risk a recession to fight a mythical policy and cartel induced rise in prices. It’s time for a serious rethink of NAIRU based monetary policy. In my view a similar argument is applicable in the US debate over monetary policy.


About haroldchorneyeconomist

I am Professor of political economy at Concordia university in Montréal, Québec, Canada. I received my B.A.Hons (econ.&poli sci) from the University of Manitoba. I also completed my M.A. degree in economics there. Went on to spend two years at the London School of Economics as a Ph.D. student in economics and then completed my Ph.D. in political economy at the University of Toronto. Was named a John W.Dafoe fellow, a CMHC fellow and a Canada Council fellow. I also was named a Woodrow Wilson fellow in 1968 after completing my first class honours undergraduate degree. Worked as an economist in the area of education, labour economics and as the senior economist with the Manitoba Housing and Renewal Corporation for the Government of Manitoba from 1972 to 1978. I also have worked as an economic consultant for MDT socio-economic consultants and have been consulted on urban planning, health policy, linguistic duality and public sector finance questions by the governments of Manitoba, Saskatchewan,the cities of Regina and Saskatoon, Ontario and the Federal government of Canada. I have also been consulted by senior leaders of the British Labour party, MPs from the Progressive Conservative party, the Liberal party and the New Democrats on economic policy questions. Members of the Government of France under the Presidency of Francois Mitterand discussed my work on public sector deficits. I have also run for elected office at the municipal level. I first began to write about quantitative easing as a useful policy option during the early 1980s.
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