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Alberta inflation highest in the country Monthly increase in prices at 0.6%

Higher gasoline prices in Alberta accounted for higher consumer prices overall.

Higher gasoline prices in Alberta accounted for higher consumer prices overall.

CALGARY — Consumer prices in Alberta rose 0.6 per cent in August from the previous month, the highest rate of inflation in the country, according to Statistics Canada.

The federal agency said that prices increased by 0.2 per cent on a monthly basis at the national level.

Year-over-year, prices were up 1.0 per cent in Alberta and 1.2 per cent across the country.

“Higher prices for the purchase of passenger vehicles, gasoline, meat and food purchased from restaurants were major factors in the year-over-year increase of the August Consumer Price Index,” said Statistics Canada of the national data.

“Higher prices for gasoline, property taxes, and the purchase of passenger vehicles were important factors in the August increase in the Alberta CPI,” it added.

In the Calgary census metropolitan area, the CPI rose by 0.6 per cent on a monthly basis and by 1.0 per cent on an annual basis.

The Bank of Canada’s core index rose 1.6 per cent in the 12 months to August, following a 1.7 per cent gain in July. On a monthly basis, the seasonally-adjusted core index rose 0.3 per cent in August after posting no change in June and July.

“With the Bank of Canada calling for 1.9 per cent year-over-year core inflation for all of Q3, and given that the year-ago comparisons don’t get much harder in the next two months, inflation is nary a concern for policy makers at this point,” said Robert Kavcic, economist with BMO Capital Markets.

Jacques Marcil, senior economist with TD Economics, said recent drought conditions in the U.S. have put upward pressure on some food commodity prices.

“While this month’s reading contains some noticeable food inflation, it is not likely that it results from the drought. TD Economics estimates that it can take up to 12 months for retail prices to climb as a result of higher agriculture prices,” he said.

David Madani, Canada Economist for Capital Economics, said “the economic slowdown underway in Canada, due to softening external demand and a slumping housing market, points to an increasing output gap and more disinflationary pressures. Accordingly, underlying CPI inflation will remain muted.”


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