Canada's inflation rate sees largest deceleration since April 2020

Mar 21 2023, 2:22 pm

Canada’s annual pace of inflation cooled in February, seeing its largest deceleration since April 2020.

In its latest report released on Tuesday, Statistics Canada says the consumer price index in February slowed to 5.2%, following the 5.9% rate of inflation in January.

It attributes the decline to a steep monthly increase in prices in February 2022, when the Russian invasion of Ukraine put pressure on the global economy.

Despite this, the government agency found that prices are still high when put into perspective.

“While inflation has slowed in recent months, having increased 1.2% compared with 6 months ago, prices remain elevated,” the report reads. “Compared with 18 months ago, for example, inflation has increased 8.3%.”

This can be seen at grocery stores, as food prices continue to climb.

According to StatsCan, the price of groceries rose 10.6% in February compared to last year. This includes food products like cereal (up 14.8%), sugar and confectionary (up 6%), seafood and other marine products (up 7.4%).

It marks the seventh consecutive month of double-digit increases on groceries.

“Continuing to put upward pressure on grocery prices are supply constraints amid unfavourable weather in growing regions, as well as higher input costs such as animal feed, energy and packaging materials,” reads the report.

On the other hand, StatsCan says gas prices dropped by 4.7% in February, the first yearly decline since January 2021.

“On a monthly basis, Canadian drivers paid 1.0% less for gasoline in February amid higher crude oil inventory levels within the United States,” said the agency.

While housing costs continue to increase, it is doing so at a slower pace for the third consecutive month, according to the report.

Isabelle DoctoIsabelle Docto

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