Canadian inflation up 2.6 per cent in February: StatsCan

Higher gasoline and food prices primarily responsible for increase
||Last Updated: 03/23/2012

Consumer prices in Canada rose by 2.6 per cent in February from a year earlier following January’s 2.5 per cent increase, according to Statistics Canada.

On a year-over-year basis, prices rose in seven of the eight major components for the second month in a row. Transportation and food continue to post the largest increases.

Transportation costs increased by 4.2 per cent in the 12 months to February, after gaining 3.7 per cent in January. In addition to the cost of gas, passenger vehicle insurance premiums, the purchase price of passenger vehicles and air transportation costs went up.

Consumers paid 4.1 per cent more for food in the 12 months to February following January’s gain of 4.2 per cent.

The cost of energy increased by 7.2 per cent in the 12 months to February, following a 6.5 per cent gain the previous month. The increase was led by a 2.6 per cent increase in gasoline costs from January and an 8.9 per cent rise compared to the year prior.

Consumer prices rose in every province in February with Quebec seeing the largest 12-month increase at 3.2 per cent, compared with 2.8 per cent in January. Manitoba and British Columbia recorded the smallest gains 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 2.3 per cent, up from January’s 2.1 per cent increase. This is the fastest rise since December 2008.

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