The next few years could be challenging for people facing increasing costs with reduced income, as Niagara Region’s planning and economic development committee members stress the need to do more to keep businesses running in an “economic tsunami.”

While providing an economic update focusing on the months since the pandemic hit the region, Niagara Economic Development research and analysis manager Blake Landry told committee members Monday that in addition to seeing significant reductions in income, residents will face a spike in the consumer price index, meaning the cost of living will increase in the year to come.

“That’s going to be very challenging, especially during a time of recovery.”

Although inflation is expected to drop slightly in 2022, Landry said he remains concerned about affordability for residents.

He said the income of Niagara residents has been “really reduced significantly” as a result of the pandemic and will take a few years before it again exceeds inflation increases.

“This to me raises a red flag that affordability is going to be a major issue over the next couple of years, especially when you look at the rate of inflation verses what people are earning,” Landry added.

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