June 18, 2009

Canada’s May inflation rate near zero

Consumer prices in Canada rose 0.1 percent in the 12 months to May 2009, led principally by price drops in energy products, Statistics Canada said Thursday.

While energy costs rose 4.4 on a monthly basis, the agency said the Consumer Price Index was down based on the 18.3 percent year-over-year price drop for energy products.

Excluding energy, the CPI rose 2.3 percent with upward pressure coming primarily from increased food prices, the report said.

Food costs rose 6.4 percent in the 12 months to May, following a 7.1 percent increase in April, the agency said. The largest price increases were for fresh vegetables, non-alcoholic beverages, fresh fruit and beef.

The cost of purchasing passenger vehicles continued to fall in May, down 6.6 percent following an 8.3 percent year-over-year drop in April, the report said.

On an annual basis, prices for furniture, recreation, clothing and shoes, health and personal care items, alcohol and tobacco were all higher in May, StatsCan said.