Rising fruit, vegetable costs push inflation rate up

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)


Latest Economic News

  • British economy grows more than expected after Brexit vote

    Economic CTV News
    LONDON -- Britain's economy grew faster than expected in the three months after its vote to leave the European Union despite concern that uncertainty over the country's future would weigh on business. The figures, however, are preliminary and experts warn they do not yet reflect some of the looming negative impacts, such as an expected rise in inflation. Source
  • Twitter cuts 9 per cent of its workforce worldwide

    Economic CTV News
    NEW YORK -- Twitter, seemingly unable to find a buyer and losing money, is cutting about 9 per cent of its employees worldwide. Twitter Inc., which has struggled amid competition from the likes of Facebook, Snapchat and Instagram, said Thursday that it expects to book about $10 million to $20 million in workforce restructuring charges. Source
  • With or without sale, changes could come to Twitter

    Economic CTV News
    NEW YORK - Sale or no sale, Twitter users are bound to see changes as the beleaguered communications service tries to broaden its appeal to more people and advertisers. A new owner could clean up Twitter and curb some of the nastiness that's become synonymous with it. Source
  • Pipeline protesters brace for confrontation with police

    Economic CTV News
    CANNON BALL, N.D. - Protesters trying to stop construction of the Dakota Access oil pipeline were bracing for a confrontation with police Thursday after the demonstrators refused to leave private land in the pipeline's path. Source
  • Samsung heir joins board, moving toward top leadership role

    Economic CTV News
    SEOUL, Korea, Republic Of - The grandson of Samsung's founder is stepping up as its new leader after the failure of the company's flagship smartphone, the Galaxy Note 7. Shareholders of Samsung Electronics Co. Source
  • Suncor production rebound after Fort McMurray fire leads to profit

    Economic CTV News
    CALGARY - Oilsands giant Suncor Energy is reporting net third-quarter earnings of $392 million compared with a net loss of $376 million in the same period of last year. The Calgary-based company reports a strong production rebound after second-quarter interruptions caused by the wildfire that swept through Fort McMurray, Alta. Source
  • Asian stocks lower as investors examine company earnings

    Economic CTV News
    HONG KONG - Stocks retreated in most Asian markets on Thursday as investors assessed a fresh round of corporate earnings from major companies across the region. KEEPING SCORE: Japan's benchmark Nikkei 225 index slipped 0.5 per cent to 17,303.27 while South Korea's Kospi rose 0.3 per cent to 2,019.09. Source
  • Samsung profits plunge 17 per cent after Galaxy Note 7 recall

    Economic CTV News
    SEOUL, Korea, Republic Of -- Samsung Electronics says its third quarter profit has plunged 17 per cent as Galaxy Note 7 recalls nearly wiped out its mobile profit. The South Korean tech giant said Thursday that its July-September net income was 4.4 trillion won ($3.9 billion), down from 5.3 trillion won a year earlier. Source
  • Canadian government warns U.S. senators of potential lumber dispute consequences

    Economic CTV News
    WASHINGTON -- The Canadian government is warning U.S. politicians about the consequences of a possible new softwood-lumber dispute. A letter from International Trade Minister Chrystia Freeland and David MacNaughton, the Canadian ambassador to Washington, went out today to two dozen senators -- with a copy to President Barack Obama. Source
  • #GrabYourWallet boycott targets Trump family on the retail front

    Economic CBC News
    An eye-catching shoe piques your interest and draws you in. Upon closer inspection, the label leaps out at you — Ivanka Trump, in simple gold lettering — and you recoil as if stung. That's the kind of reaction behind a growing boycott of the products emblazoned with the brand of Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump as well as the popular, working women-targeted fashion line from his eldest daughter — who has arguably been his most influential and effective family member during the…