Canadians often complain that life is getting more and more expensive but a new analysis suggests that is not true when it comes to buying Christmas presents. The research by the Montreal Economic Institute reconstructed a basket of goods that could be found under a family’s Christmas tree in 1984 and found it would cost about half in 2018.
For example, the independent public policy think tank found that to buy the colour television of 1984 it took 49 hours of work. In 2018, it took just nine hours of work to buy a large flat screen colour television.
In another example, it took almost 10 hours of work to buy a cordless telephone for the home and today, a similar but superior device would take just two-and-one-quarter hours of work.
Better technology, productivity highlighted
The author of the report, analyst David Descoteaux suggests that investment on the part of businesses and technological innovation have yielded large increases in the productivity of both machines and workers. As well, he holds that employees have acquired more knowledge and skills raising the value of their work and their wages.
While the prices of these items has gone down, Descoteaux notes that the price of housing can still be “a challenge in certain cities.” That could be considered an understatement among home buyers in places like Vancouver and Toronto where prices have shot up dramatically.
See the list of items and what they cost in 2018 compared to 1984.