Saturday, February 24, 2024

Inflation rate drops slightly while food and housing prices worsen: StatCan


Statistics Canada (StatCan) says that the rate of inflation and its impact on the consumer price index (CPI) slowed slightly in October, but it remains higher than most Canadians would like it to be. 

Canada’s CPI tracks changes in the cost of living over time whereas the inflation rate is calculated by analyzing the CPI and determining the increase in the overall price level. 

StatCan says that in October the CPI slowed from 3.8% to 3.1% overall; however, that doesn’t mean goods and services became cheaper across the board in Canada. 

The largest impact on the deceleration of the CPI — and thus the inflation rate in Canada — is that the price of gasoline came down significantly.

Gas is down 7.8% since this time last year, and even last month. If the drop in gas prices were to be eliminated from the CPI’s scope, the current rate of inflation would be at 3.6% rather than 3.1%.

As of this publication, most gas stations in Victoria 178.9 to 179.9 cents per litre. In September, gas prices were up to around 200.9 cents per litre. 

The cost of groceries, although still high, has also been trending downward. In September, the inflation rate for groceries was at 5.8% whereas in October it came down to 5.4%.

Despite goods dropping slightly in price, services such as housing and tours have been on the rise in StatCan’s most recent CPI report.

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In BC, costs for people to pay rent is up 9.1% since this time last year. 

This isn’t the worst of it though. In Nova Scotia, this rate is at 14.6% and in Alberta, inflation has raised people’s rents by an average of 9.9% year-over-year. 

Property taxes are also up, although not at the same rate as rent is. Since October 2022, average property taxes went up by 4.9% across the board. 

The highest rate of increase may surprise some Canadians though — for those looking to travel domestically or internationally, things might get pricier than you anticipated. 

According to StatCan, travel tour costs are up 11.9% as compared to this time last year. 

They say these rising costs are mostly due to people travelling between Canada and the United States. 

November is Financial Literacy Month, and so StatCan is doing more in publishing guides and data for Canadaians to learn more about how to navigate the financial landscape in Canada. 

Curtis Blandy

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