Canadian inflation unchanged at 2.9 per cent in November

Rising food prices and automobile costs offset lower gasoline costs
|labour-reporter.com|Last Updated: 12/20/2011

Consumer prices in Canada rose by 2.9 per cent in November, matching the rate in October, according to Statistics Canada.

On a year-over-year basis, prices increased in all eight major components in November. The inflation rate has been above the Bank of Canada's two per cent target for more than a year now.

The rising cost of food continues to be the major contributor to the country’s inflation rate. Consumers paid 4.8 per cent more for food in the 12 months to November, which is the largest increase since July 2009. Last month’s gain follows a 4.3 per cent increase in October.

Gasoline prices rose 13.5 per cent in the 12 months leading to November, after advancing 18.2 per cent in October. This was the smallest year-over-year gain since the start of 2011. In addition to paying more for gasoline, consumers also paid 4.4 per cent more in passenger vehicle insurance premiums and 1.8 per cent more for the purchase of passenger vehicles.

Shelter costs rose 1.5 per cent in the 12 months to November, matching the increase posted in October. The cost of fuel oil increased 24.4 per cent annually after gaining 22.1 per cent the previous month.

Newfoundland and Labrador experienced the largest increase among the provinces, with prices rising 4.1 per cent in the 12 months to November.

In Ontario, prices went up 2.5 per cent in the 12 months to November, after advancing 2.7 per cent in October. Of all the provinces, Ontario posted the smallest year-over-year increase for gasoline at 11.6 per cent and the largest annual gain for food purchased from stores at 6.7 per cent.

Prices in Quebec rose 3.2 per cent on a year-over-year basis in November, following a 3.3 per cent increase the month before. In Alberta, prices advanced 3.2 per cent in the 12 months to November, after gaining 3.4 per cent in October, and British Columbia saw prices increase 2.3 per cent in the 12 months to November, matching the increase the month before.

The Bank of Canada’s core index — or inflation minus the most volatile elements, including energy, some fruits and vegetables, mortgage interest, and tobacco — increased 2.1 per cent in the 12 months to November, matching the gain in October.

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