Toronto, Jan 20 – As per a new study, Canada has the sixth most miserable economy out of 35 developed countries due to its record high inflation rate of 4.8 percent since 1991 and rising unemployment rates.
Statistics Canada reports that the price of food, the cost of passenger vehicles, and the cost of housing have all gone up over the past 12 months, contributing to an inflation rate of 4.8 percent in December 2021, the highest level since 1991.
According to the study — The Misery Index Returns — by Vancouver-based non-profit Fraser Institute, “The combination of Canada’s high inflation rate and its relatively high unemployment rate means that Canada — and more importantly Canadians — are suffering from a comparatively high Misery Index.”
According to Statistics Canada, the inflation rate was 4.7% in November 2021, after rising since the outbreak of Covid-19 in February 2020.
Compared to November, gas prices were up 43.6 percent year over year in December as tighter public health restrictions related to the Omicron Covid-19 variant weighed on demand.
Statistics Canada said the Consumer Price Index (CPI) rose 4% year over year excluding gasoline in December.
On a monthly basis, the CPI fell 0.1 percent in December, following a 0.2 percent increase in November.
This was the first monthly decline since December 2020, as gasoline prices fell in response to lower demand amid the spread of the Omicron variant.
The Bank of Canada has exceeded its target zone of between 1 percent and 3 percent for nine consecutive months.
Next week, the Bank of Canada is scheduled to announce its interest rate policy in response to runaway inflation.
As the sixth-worst score among 35 most advanced economies, Canada’s Misery Index score for 2021 was 10.88 — or 3.15 inflation rate and 7.72 unemployment rate.
Only five countries are more miserable than Canada. Spain is the worst with a Misery Index score of 17.61, followed by Greece (15.73), Italy (11.96) and Iceland (11.26).
Among the countries which are less miserable than Canada are France (10.10), the US (9.72), Australia (7.33), and Britain (7.17).
The least miserable countries with the lowest index scores are Switzerland (3.57) and Japan (2.61).
“Canadians are rightly concerned about the country’s high inflation and unemployment rates, and when compared to other developed countries, Canada is not doing well,” said Jason Clements, executive vice president of the Fraser Institute and study co-author.
“The fact that we are again discussing the Misery Index and Canada’s high ranking, it is bad news for all Canadians, who will suffer as a result,” said Clemens.
“Governments across Canada, particularly the federal government, should prioritize those policies that will make Canadians less miserable by lowering inflation and unemployment,” Clements added.