Ottawa's inflation rate rises to 1.3% in March

The Canadian Press ~ OBJ
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Ottawa’s inflation rate increased in March, rising to 1.3 per cent from 1.2 per cent in February.

(Stock image)

Nationally Statistics Canada said the country's annual inflation rate climbed four-tenths of a point to 1.5 per cent last month, as the cost of energy and gasoline rose significantly both on a year-to-year basis and over the previous month.

With energy prices rising 4.6 per cent from last March, including a 17.9 per cent jump in natural gas, economists had anticipated the increase in the consumer price index.

As well, prices for electricity increased by five per cent, while fuel oil was 9.1 per cent higher.

On a month-to-month basis, average consumer prices rose 0.6 per cent, mostly due to a three per cent increase in gasoline.

On Wednesday, Bank of Canada governor Stephen Poloz said he expects inflation to steadily climb to near the bank's desired two per cent target over the next few months, but added that he believed the trend was mostly due to temporary factors, particularly energy.

For a clearer picture of underlying inflationary pressure, Mr. Poloz said he would pay more attention to the core index, which excludes volatile items and in March remained tame. It inched up just one-tenth of a point to 1.3 per cent.

Regionally, the biggest gain occurred in Alberta, where natural gas prices skyrocketed 81.5 per cent over last year's levels and 49.6 per cent over February. The province's annual inflation rate shot up to 3.9 per cent in March from 2.4 in February.

Organizations: Statistics Canada, Bank of Canada

Geographic location: Ottawa, Alberta

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Recent comments

  • Donald
    April 22, 2014 - 05:26

    The highly subsidized oil industry is shutting down Canadian refineries so we have to import gasoline so they can make more money off of us and pay their executives millions. The government should require these ungracious guests to provide refining and the jobs for the domestic market as part of the price of doing business here. Letting them offshore our oil to sell it back to us at inflated prices is incredibly stupid.