Higher fruit, vegetable costs help push inflation up 1.6 per cent

OTTAWA -- Fuelled by climbing prices for fresh fruits and vegetables, Canada's annual inflation rate accelerated last month to 1.6 per cent, Statistics Canada said Friday.

See Full Article

The December inflation reading in the agency's latest consumer price index followed a 1.4 per cent year-over-year increase in November.

The country's inflation rate was released as the economy deals with the effects of the steep slide in commodity and oil prices, which have also dragged down Canada's exchange rate.

On top of higher produce prices, Canadians were also paying considerably more for home and mortgage insurance, automobiles and electricity compared to a year earlier, the report said.

Prices for fresh fruit were up 13.2 per cent compared to a year earlier, while fresh vegetables rose 13.3 per cent. The price of lettuce, for example, surged by 21.8 per cent.

Overall, consumers spent 3.7 per cent more on food last month than the previous year.

The agency said lower prices for gasoline, natural gas and fuel oil applied downward pressure on inflation. Gasoline prices were down 4.8 per cent compared to December 2014, while natural gas decreased 12.9 per cent and fuel oil dropped by 16.8 per cent.

The report said consumer prices increased in every province last month compared to the year before, with British Columbia seeing the largest gain.

The core inflation rate, which excludes some volatile items such as gasoline, was up 1.9 per cent last month, slipping below the two per cent mark for the first time since July 2014. The core rate is followed closely by the Bank of Canada.

Statistics Canada also released its year-end review for 2015, which showed the country's annual average increase in inflation was 1.1 per cent.

Core inflation had an annual average increase of 2.2 per cent last year, reaching its highest level in a year-end review since 2003.

Statistics Canada also released data Friday for retail sales in November. They were up 1.7 per cent compared to the previous month as Black Friday promotions and a boost in sales at new car dealerships helped push the total figure up to $44.3 billion.

By province/territory

  • Newfoundland and Labrador: 1.4 per cent (1.1)
  • Prince Edward Island: 0.9 (0.2)
  • Nova Scotia: 1.2 (0.5)
  • New Brunswick: 1.1 (0.7)
  • Quebec: 1.3 (0.9)
  • Ontario: 1.7 (1.3)
  • Manitoba: 1.5 (1.8)
  • Saskatchewan: 1.8 (2.1)
  • Alberta: 1.5 (2.0)
  • British Columbia: 1.9 (1.7)
  • Whitehorse, Yukon: 0.8 (0.1)
  • Yellowknife, N.W.T.: 1.5 (1.6)

By city

  • St. John's, N.L.: 1.4 per cent (1.0)
  • Charlottetown-Summerside: 0.9 (0.4)
  • Halifax: 1.2 (0.5)
  • Saint John, N.B.: 1.2 (0.7)
  • Quebec: 1.2 (0.8)
  • Montreal: 1.5 (1.1)
  • Ottawa: 1.3 (1.0)
  • Toronto: 2.0 (1.7)
  • Thunder Bay, Ont.: 1.8 (1.4)
  • Winnipeg: 1.5 (1.8)
  • Regina: 1.6 (1.9)
  • Saskatoon: 1.9 (2.2)
  • Edmonton: 1.6 (2.0)
  • Calgary: 1.5 (2.0)
  • Vancouver: 2.3 (1.8)
  • Victoria: 1.7 (1.4)


Advertisements

Latest Economic News

  • National contest tries to convince students that lucrative sales jobs are 'sexy'

    Economic CBC News
    Sonya Meloff wants everyone to know that a career in sales is sexy. Not sleazy. "I think that sales is a really sexy job," says the founder of the Toronto's Sales Talent Agency. "You get to be at the forefront of representing a company, you're the one that gets to talk to the customers. Source
  • Report examines grim Bangladesh leather trade, links to West

    Economic CTV News
    DHAKA, Bangladesh -- Hazardous, heavily polluting tanneries, with workers as young as 14, supplied leather to companies that make shoes and handbags for a host of Western brands, a non-profit group that investigates supply chains says. Source
  • Notley: Keystone XL doesn't lessen need for Energy East, Trans Mountain

    Economic CTV News
    CALGARY -- Alberta Premier Rachel Notley says U.S. approval of the Keystone XL pipeline does not lessen the need for two other controversial proposals within Canada's borders. U.S. President Donald Trump announced the green light for the line more than eight years after Calgary-based TransCanada first applied for a cross-border permit. Source
  • Trump's Keystone XL decision sets up new fight in Nebraska

    Economic CTV News
    LINCOLN, Neb. -- U.S. President Donald Trump may have approved a federal permit for the Keystone XL pipeline, but the fight is far from over in Nebraska, the one state in its path that has yet to approve the project. Source
  • Toronto stock index extends rally, Wall Street mixed after 'Trumpcare' pulled

    Economic CBC News
    Specialist Stephen Naughton, left, and trader Michael Milano work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange on Wednesday. North American equity markets finished mixed on Friday after U.S. Republicans withdrew their bill to overhaul Obamacare. Source
  • PepsiCo, Wal-Mart, Starbucks join YouTube ad boycott in U.S.

    Economic CTV News
    SAN FRANCISCO -- An advertising boycott of YouTube is broadening in a sign that big companies doubt Google's ability to prevent marketing campaigns from appearing alongside repugnant videos. PepsiCo, Wal-Mart Stores and Starbucks on Friday confirmed that they have also suspended their advertising on YouTube after the Wall Street Journal found Google's automated programs placed their brands on five videos containing racist content. Source
  • Debate renewed over economic benefits of Keystone XL pipeline

    Economic CTV News
    U.S. President Donald Trump is calling his administration's approval of the Keystone XL pipeline a new era for American energy policy. As expected, the State Department reversed a decision by the Obama administration and favoured energy development over environmentalists' objections to the pipeline, which will carry thick Canadian crude oil to Nebraska, where it can flow on to refineries along the Gulf Coast. Source
  • BRP could move Mexican production if NAFTA changes too onerous, says CEO

    Economic CTV News
    MONTREAL -- The company that makes Ski-Doos, Sea-Doos and Spyder vehicles says it could move production from Mexico if NAFTA changes result in hefty border taxes, but BRP chief executive Jose Boisjoli is hoping "common sense" will prevail during upcoming negotiations. Source
  • FCA to wind down transport operations in Windsor

    Economic CBC News
    Nearly 300 jobs could be eliminated at Fiat Chrysler Automobiles as the automaker winds down its FCA Transport operations in Windsor. "Retirement packages will be offered to eligible employees at the Windsor Assembly Plant, which includes FCA Transport," said a company spokesperson in a statement. Source
  • Dakota Access pipeline builder, U.S. government want lake crossing upheld

    Economic CBC News
    The company building the $3.8 billion US Dakota Access oil pipeline and the Army Corps of Engineers want a judge to reject a request by American Indian tribes to revoke permission for the project to cross a Missouri River reservoir in North Dakota. Source