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Canadian inflation rate hit 6.8% in April, StatCan says


The cost of almost everything at the grocery store continued to climb to drive up the annual inflation rate in April.

Statistics Canada said Wednesday its consumer price index for April was up 6.8% from a year ago, compared with a 6.7% gain in March.

The rate was the highest since January 1991, when the annual rate was 6.9%.

“The main takeaway from the April CPI release is that inflation is spreading much wider and clearly risks taking firm root,” wrote Bank of Montreal Chief Economist Douglas. Porter, in a brief report.

“Barring a deep drop in oil prices in the coming weeks and months, we expect the worst is yet to come and inflation north of 6% will still be there by the end of the day. of this year.

The overall cost of food rose 8.8% from a year ago, while Canadians paid 9.7% more for food in stores in April, the biggest increase since September 1981. The cost of food in restaurants increased by 6.6%.

Compared to a year ago, the cost of fresh fruit increased by 10%, that of fresh vegetables by 8.2% and that of meat by 10.1%. The cost of bread increased by 12.2%, while pasta increased by 19.6% and rice by 7.4%.

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in late February put upward pressure on prices of food products that use wheat, Statistics Canada said, while bad weather in growing regions also impacted food prices.

The agency also said higher prices for products such as fertilizer and natural gas continued to drive up costs for farmers, who passed on some of those costs.

The 7.4% increase in shelter costs also contributed to the overall increase in the cost of living, as the cost of heating a home rose. Natural gas increased by 22.2% and fuel oil and other fuels increased by 64.4%.

Compared to a year ago, consumers paid 36.3% more for gasoline in April, but the increase was smaller than the year-over-year gain of 39.8% in March .

Excluding gasoline, April’s annual rate was 5.8%, compared to a year-over-year gain of 5.5% in March.

The average of the three measures of core inflation closely watched by the Bank of Canada rose to 4.23% in April from 3.93% in March.

The central bank raised its key interest rate target by half a percentage point to 1% last month and warned that more interest rate hikes are ahead as it strives bring inflation back to its target of 2%.

In its monetary policy report last month, the Bank of Canada said it expected inflation to average nearly 6% in the first half of the year, but has since said it will likely revise his predictions.

The Bank of Canada’s next rate announcement is scheduled for June 1.

Here is what happened in the provinces (previous month in brackets):

  • Newfoundland and Labrador: 6.6% (6.3)
  • Prince Edward Island: 8.9% (8.9)
  • Nova Scotia: 7.1% (6.8)
  • New Brunswick: 7.6% (7.4)
  • Quebec: 6.8% (6.7)
  • Ontario: 6.9% (7.0)
  • Manitoba: 7.5% (7.4)
  • Saskatchewan: 5.9% (5.7)
  • Alberta: 6.3% (6.5)
  • British Columbia: 6.7% (6.0)

The agency also released rates for major cities, but cautioned that the numbers may have fluctuated widely as they are based on small statistical samples (previous month in parentheses):

  • St. John’s, NL : 6.0% (5.6)
  • Charlottetown-Summerside: 9.5% (9.4)
  • Halifax: 6.6% (6.6)
  • Saint John, NB: 7.3% (7.0)
  • Quebec: 5.8% (6.0)
  • Montreal: 6.7% (6.5)
  • Ottawa: 6.8% (7.5)
  • Toronto: 6.6% (6.5)
  • Thunder Bay, Ont. : 5.1% (5.6)
  • Winnipeg: 7.3% (7.3)
  • Regina: 5.7% (5.5)
  • Saskatoon: 5.7% (5.6)
  • Edmonton: 6.1% (6.5)
  • Calgary: 7.1% (7.3)
  • Vancouver: 6.6% (5.7)
  • Victoria: 6.9% (6.1)
  • Whitehorse: 5.8% (6.1)
  • Yellowknife: 7.0% (6.9)
  • Iqaluit: 3.5% (3.7)

This report from The Canadian Press was first published on May 18, 2022.