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Inflation ticks up to 3.4% in December

By Brad Perry Jan 16, 2024 | 12:01 PM

Canada’s inflation rate ticked up in December, according to Statistics Canada.

The Consumer Price Index rose 3.4 per cent on a year-over-year basis last month.

Officials said it was largely due to higher year-over-year prices for gasoline in December.

“The increase was the result of a base-year effect, as prices fell 13.1% month over month in December 2022, when prices for crude oil were lower amid concerns of a slowing global economy,” StatCan said in its monthly report.

Meanwhile, the price of food from stores continued to grow at a faster pace than overall inflation.

Food prices were up 4.7 per cent year over year in December, similar to what we saw in November.

Additional acceleration came from airfares, fuel oil, passenger vehicles and rent, said StatCan.

Rent prices were up 7.7 per cent year over year in December, following a 7.4 per cent increase the month before.

“Among other factors, a higher interest rate environment, which can create barriers to homeownership, put upward pressure on the index,” said the report.

Prices in Ontario, British Columbia and Quebec contributed the most to the increase, while rent prices in Prince Edward Island fell year over year for the fifth straight month.

Regional inflation numbers

Prices rose at a faster pace in December compared with November in nine provinces, according to StatCan.

Quebec (4.0 per cent), Nova Scotia, (3.6 per cent), Newfoundland and Labrador (3.4 per cent), Ontario (3.4 per cent) and British Columbia (3.4 per cent) had the highest rates of inflation.

That was followed by Alberta (3.0 per cent), New Brunswick (2.9 per cent), Saskatchewan (2.7 per cent), Prince Edward Island (2.6 per cent), and Manitoba (1.7 per cent).

You can view the full report here.