Commentary,  Macroeconomics

CBC Podcast on Power, Profits, and Inflation

CBC’s top-rated podcast series, Front Burner, recently featured a 30-minute interview with Centre for Future Work Director Jim Stanford on the continuing debate about whether corporate profits have contributed to recent Canadian inflation.

The interview responds to recent claims of supermarket CEOs (in their appearance before a Parliamentary inquiry) that their profit margins on sales are modest and stable. In fact, compared to pre-pandemic norms, profit margins have grown by about three-quarters – and the mass of after-tax profits collected in the food retail sector has more than doubled.

The podcast also considered the role of record profits in driving painful price increases in other sectors of the economy, too: including energy, banking, building supplies, car dealerships, and others. The podcast referenced the recent Centre for Future Work report documenting the surge of profits in 15 key sectors of Canada’s economy, and its dominant role in driving most of Canada’s recent inflation.

Stanford argued that the Bank of Canada’s current narrative – namely, that inflation results from too many Canadians being employed, and wages growing too fast – is dishonest, and was constructed to justify policy actions that will punish the victims of inflation, rather than address its true causes.

Jim Stanford is Economist and Director of the Centre for Future Work. He divides his time between Sydney, Australia and Vancouver, Canada. Jim is one of Canada’s best-known economic commentators. He served for over 20 years as Economist and Director of Policy with Unifor, Canada’s largest private-sector trade union.