In 1981, life was getting more expensive (again)
Inflation was steep, wages were not rising fast enough and the economy wasn't growing much
Life was getting more expensive, but Canadians weren't getting any richer.
That was the case in early 1981, just as it had been for four years.
That January, the CBC's David Halton was reporting for The National on new projections by the Conference Board of Canada for the immediate future.
"The recovery from last year's recession will be painfully slow, with real economic growth of only one per cent in 1981," Halton told viewers.
Higher than the high inflation expected
"Inflation will rise to almost 12 per cent, well above the 10 per cent range predicted in the federal government's budget last November."
Worse still, the board predicted wages would not rise as sharply as the inflation rate — making it the fourth year in a row that outcome had occurred.
"That will mean that most Canadians will again have less real income to spend," said Halton.
Thomas Maxwell, the chief economist of the Conference Board of Canada, said only two things were likely to ease pressure on the economy.
One was an improved economy south of the border, though the think-tank did not think that was going to happen.
A second was the hypothetical resolution of fighting between Ottawa and the provinces on energy revenues.
"But the Conference Board doesn't expect that the energy dispute will ease up in time to restore investment this year," said Halton.