February 20, 2009

Canadian consumer prices rise in January

Canada's consumer price index rose 1.1 percent in the 12 months to January, kept partially in check by lower gasoline prices, Statistics Canada said Friday.

The gain follows a 1.2 percent increase in December and the federal agency said the rate of change has been slowing since September.

Gasoline prices in January 2009 were 23.5 percent below the level in the same month in 2008, StatsCan said, adding overall energy prices fell 10.9 percent in January.

Food prices, particularly bakery, cereal and fresh vegetables, were up 7.3 percent during the same time span.

The second largest contributor to the increase was the cost of shelter, which was up 3.3. percent, based largely on higher mortgage interest costs and natural gas prices, the report said.

Regionally, Quebec maintained the lowest rate of growth in consumer prices with a 0.5 percent increase, while consumer prices escalated highest in Saskatchewan, at 2.4 percent, the agency said.