May 20, 2009

Canada’s CPI nudges up in April

Canada's Consumer Price Index increased 0.4 percent on an annual basis in April, markedly down from March's 1.2 percent gain, Statistics Canada reported.

The biggest factor in the cost of living gain was food. Grocery prices rose 7.12 percent on an annual basis. Excluding food, the CPI fell 1.1 percent in the 12 months to April, StatsCan said.

Within the food sector, fresh vegetable prices were up 26 percent, fresh fruit rose 16.8 percent, cereal products increased 9.6 percent, beef and chicken prices each rose 9 percent, the report said.

Shelter costs rose 0.2 percent during the 12-month period, while transportation costs fell 8 percent in the wake of declines in prices for gasoline and passenger vehicles. Electricity prices also slowed from a 12-month growth rate of 3.1 percent in March to 1 percent in April.

Regionally, StatsCan said compared with March, growth in consumer prices slowed in all provinces in the 12 months April to April, with the largest slowdowns in Alberta, Ontario and Saskatchewan.