Market Comment

The Bank of Canada surprised the market by holding the overnight rate at 0.25%, waiting for the United States to move first. Raising rates has the affect of slowing consumer demand by encouraging saving, but with rates at relative lows and negative once factoring inflation (-4.55%) it will take a series of interest rate raises to have any affect on inflation. For now, it should be expected that the silent tax of inflation will keep running. Looking at the supply side the fact is our supply chains are fragile. For instance, the average inventory held by semi-conductor consumers is now 5 days from 40 days in 2019. Any disruption to supply chain from Covid 19, natural disasters or political instability could have the potential to shut down manufacturing, sending prices higher. There seems to be little reason for inflation to slow, even the Bank of Canada is forecasting inflation for 2022 at 4.2%. With guaranteed investment certificates (GIC) rates well below inflation, investors should be looking to the stock market to out pace inflation and protect purchasing power. Now we wait for the United States Federal Reserve update at noon.

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