It took over a week of work to buy a cathode ray, colour television in 1984 but just over a day of work to buy a better TV in 2018, according to a think tank. (iStock)

Christmas gifts cheaper than in 1984: analysis

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.

The analysis of the cost a basket of Christmas presents suggests they would take less than half the hours of work to buy in 2018 compared to 1984. (iStock)

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.

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