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Consumer prices in Alberta rise higher than Canada

February 7, 2018 7:56 PM
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Consumer prices in Alberta rise higher than Canada

Consumer prices in Alberta showed the highest annual increase in October than any other province, says Statistics Canada.

The federal agency reported Friday that the Consumer Price Index in Alberta rose by three per cent, after a 2.6 per cent annual hike in September. Prices in the Calgary census metropolitan area were up by 3.3 per cent following a 3.2 per cent annual increase in September.

Todd Hirsch, chief economist with ATB Financial, said the year-over-year increase of consumer prices in Alberta hit one of its highest rates in more than four years.

“But the increase in prices was driven notably higher by one particular item in the basket of goods and services that can’t be purchased in the mall or grocery store. Household natural gas prices — which are notoriously volatile — shot up 30.7 per cent,” he said.

“Overall inflation was also lifted higher by prices for fresh fruits and vegetables, up 7.4 and six per cent respectively. These prices are victims of the much lower Canadian dollar, since almost all of our fresh produce is imported from the U.S. or priced in U.S. dollars.

“Helping to keep overall price increases manageable were lower prices for women’s clothing (2.5 per cent), footwear (1.6 per cent), and personal care items (1.1 per cent).”

Across Canada, prices rose by 2.4 per cent in October following a two per cent year-over-year hike in September. The federal agency said prices were up in all major components.

“Higher prices for shelter and food led the rise in CPI,” it said. “At the same time, larger year-over-year increases for transportation and for clothing and footwear contributed the most to the acceleration.”

Annual price increases were 2.8 per cent for shelter and for food, 1.1 per cent for transportation and 3.1 per cent for clothing and footwear.

The Bank of Canada’s core index rose by 2.3 per cent in October following a 2.1 per cent year-over-year increase in September.


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