On January 25, Bank of Canada projected that the country’s inflation rate would decline to around 3% in mid-2023 and continue to fall to around its target of 2% in 2024. Consumers and businesses cutting their spending in line with recent interest rate increases, declines in energy prices and improved supply chains are all contributing factors to the economic rebalancing that is taking place.
Had the labour force’s typical annual growth rate been sustained over the 2020-2022 period, there would be an additional 320,000 workers - equivalent to almost 1% of Canada’s total population. Growth in labour supply is just not keeping up with demand; some of the major contributing factors are an ageing workforce and skills mismatches, while rising immigration and the participation rate of women are helping slow the decline. The short supply of labour is impeding Canada’s efforts to reduce inflation.
Winter months in most of Canada share a common challenge with other northern regions, namely blistering cold and heavy snowfalls. Both factors typically have a significant impact on metal flows, and this year is no different. 2023 is off to a slow start. Particularly in January and February, many vendors tackle more tedious undertakings such as sorting through material put aside months ago during busier times. There is little to report on trading activities.