Global Markets: Inflation rises to decade-high

WINNIPEG – The following is a glance at the news moving markets in Canada and globally.

– Statistics Canada reported on Wednesday that annual inflation increased to 3.4 per cent in April, compared to 2.2 per cent in March, its highest rate since May 2011. Economists had predicted a rise to 3.2 per cent. Meanwhile, core inflation went up to 2.1 per cent in April from 1.9 per cent in March, its highest rate since 2012. The Bank of Canada previously stated that an inflation spike would only be transitory, but more persistent inflation could cause the central bank to raise its key interest rates sooner than expected.

– Canada is on track to surpass the United States in terms of the proportion of the population to receive one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine by Thursday. As of yesterday afternoon, 46.24 per cent of Canadians were vaccinated with 0.9 per cent of the population receiving a shot each day over the past week. In the U.S., 47.19 per cent has been vaccinated, but currently at a daily rate of 0.22 per cent. Two months ago, the U.S. vaccinated more than 22 per cent of its population compared to more than seven per cent in Canada. However, a poll last week revealed that 34 per cent of Americans don’t want to be vaccinated, compared to 12 per cent of Canadians who would not or are unsure about getting the shot in another poll.

– Trade representatives from Canada, the U.S. and Mexico said in a statement yesterday they had “robust” talks about the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA), which took effect last July. In the virtual meeting, Canadian Trade Minister Mary Ng, Mexican Economy Minister Tatiana Clouthier and U.S. Trade Representative Katherine Tai discussed the fight against climate change and reducing imports made with forced labour. “The USMCA commits us to a robust and inclusive North American economy that serves as a model globally for competitiveness, while prioritizing the interests of workers and underserved communities,” the ministers said in a statement.

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