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21 February 2011

Canada Bucks Inflation Trend

Friday, 18 February 2011

Contrary to expectations, inflation in Canada actually fell in January, according to the recent Consumer Price Index released by Statistics Canada.

Most other nations around the world are working hard to curb rising inflation; Canada is bucking the trend by going- albeit modestly-in the other direction.

Gasoline prices were up, pushing prices up overall; the annual  inflation rate itself fell by .10 of a point- down to 2.3% in January.  Month-to-month, the price of gasoline went up by 3.5% in January. Overall consumer prices increased by 0.3% in January.

Year-over-year, price gains were seen in seven of the eight major components, the only difference being clothing and footwear. The largest increase came in transportation, which rose 4.8%; Food prices rose 2.1%. Household operations  furnishings and equipment increased 1.6%; recreation, education and reading price index rose 1.6%; shelter costs rose 2.2%.

Of note, the report says, "the mortgage interest cost index, which measures the change in the interest portion of payments on outstanding mortgage debt, continued to decrease."

Across the country, on an annual basis, consumer prices rose in every single province. Drivers in every province were faced with significant increases in gasoline prices- in the double digits, in fact, Nova Scotia saw the highest rise in prices- they came in at 3%. Alberta was home to the most stable- registering only 1%.

The Bank of Canada's core index rose by 1.4% in January on an annual basis - on the heels of a 1.5% rise in December.  There is expectation, with the Bank of Canada's next rate announcement coming up soon,  that inflation will not be a cause for reactionary concern.

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