Our biggest issue is getting people to work: Jim Pattison
As inflation drives operating costs higher, a prominent Canadian business leader says one solution is to pass those rising expenses onto customers.
"The cost [of business] is definitely going up in most areas, and we just need to pass it off to the customer," Jim Pattison, the billionaire businessman and founder of Jim Pattison Group, said in an interview on Thursday.
Despite labour shortages and supply chain issues weighing on almost every industry worldwide, Pattison noted the company's automotive, food and lumber businesses have done exceptionally well.
"2021 wrapped up as one of the best years we've ever had," Pattison remarked.
Along with higher business costs, day-to-day living is also growing increasingly expensive.
Inflation in Canada rose 4.7 per cent year-over-year in November. That is the fastest pace of growth seen in the country in nearly two decades.
South of the border, December inflation data rose seven per cent year-over-year, the highest rate in nearly four decades.
“I think we probably are going to have to get used to it. There’s always trends of up and down but this is a little bit deeper than we've ever seen before," Pattison said.
The data has been heaping pressure on central banks to raise interest rates quicker than anticipated.
A report from J.P. Morgan on Tuesday said the next Bank of Canada hike will come later this month on Jan. 26.
Other economists believe the Bank of Canada will raise rates closer to March or April.
While raising interest rates is a powerful tool to cool down the economy, it could take months to take effect, according to economists.
"There's no short cut to these things," Pattison said.