The pressing question for the golf industry and really, every business and individual in Canada, is whether rising prices have peaked after Statistics Canada reported on Wednesday that the inflation rate hit 4.1 per cent last month, the highest level since 2003.
After the inflation rate hit 3.7 per cent in July, just about everything was more expensive in August compared to a year earlier, including products for a food and beverage operation. Meat costs went up 6.9 per cent, with prices for fresh or frozen chicken up 8.4 per cent and fresh and frozen pork up 9.3 per cent.
Gasoline prices were up by 32.5 per cent, so it was costing more to run machines at a golf operation or even to get to work.
The latest eye-popping numbers may be a mirage with prices so low at this time last year in the earlier days of the COVID-19 pandemic. Add to that supply chain issues that are driving up prices in many sectors of the economy.
Whether the rising costs are just temporary or represent a long term challenge remains to be seen as concerns in this country grow about the spread of the Delta variant and the fourth wave of the pandemic.
Unless something changes quickly, and that seems unlikely, people putting together budgets for next year will be dealing with several variables that could change quickly in uncertain times.
For example, will a rise in labour costs be necessary with workers facing inflationary pressures as well and many operations at this point feeling the effects of a labour shortage that will still be fresh in the mind when budgets are being done?
There will be more moving parts than usual when budgets are done in the coming months, but uncertainty will always be certain as long as this pandemic continues.