August 17, 2001 In this article the author examines the effects that major changes in energy prices in recent years have had on inflation and on the pace of economic expansion. These are then compared with the effects of the oil-price shocks that occurred in the 1970s and early 1980s. Changes in the intensity of energy use are examined, as well as developments in Canada's merchandise trade surplus in energy commodities and products. The author also considers the effects that a monetary policy anchored to low and stable inflation could have on price-setting behaviour and thus on the pass-through of higher energy costs to core inflation in Canada and in other industrial countries.
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