Canadian inflation up 2.5 per cent in January: StatsCan

Spike in gasoline prices primarily responsible for increase
|labour-reporter.com|Last Updated: 02/17/2012

Consumer prices in Canada rose by 2.5 per cent in January from a year earlier following December’s 2.3 per cent increase, according to Statistics Canada.

On a year-over-year basis, prices rose in seven of the eight major components last month, with the exception being recreation, education and reading.

Transportation and food continued to post the largest increases. Transportation costs increased by 3.7 per cent in the 12 months to January, after gaining 3.3 per cent in December. Consumers paid 4.2 per cent more for food in the 12 months to January following December’s gain of 4.4 per cent.

A one-month spike in gasoline prices is largely responsible for the rise in inflation. The cost of gasoline increased 2.8 per cent in January compared to 2.5 per cent the month before. On a year-over-year basis, the cost of gasoline increased 6.8 per cent.

The cost of energy advanced 6.5 per cent in the 12 months to January, after rising 6.0 per cent in December. Prices for fuel oil went up 17.1 per cent while natural gas prices fell 0.7 per cent.

Consumer prices rose in every province in January with New Brunswick seeing the largest 12-month increase for the second month in a row at 3.2 per cent. British Columbia recorded the smallest gain, matching its gain last month at 1.7 per cent.

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 to 2.1 per cent, up from December’s 1.9 per cent increase.

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