Alberta’s inflation rate below Canadian average

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The cost of living in Alberta rose in November at a rate slightly below the Canadian average, Statistics Canada reported Wednesday.

The federal agency said the Consumer Price Index in the province was up 2.1 per cent on a year-over-year basis while in Canada it rose by 2.2 per cent.

Both those numbers are up from October when the annual inflation rate was 1.9 per cent in Canada and 1.6 per cent in Alberta.

Energy was a key driver in November of elevated consumer prices.

“Energy prices rose 1.5 per cent year over year in November after declining by 2.9 per cent in October. Gasoline prices drove the CPI increase in November, growing 0.9 per cent on a year-over-year basis following a 6.7 per cent decline in October,” stated StatsCan.

“This increase, the first since October 2018, was attributable to sharply lower prices in November 2018, when global oil prices fell amid a supply glut caused by reactions to emerging international political uncertainties. On a month-over-month basis, gasoline prices fell 2.0 per cent, as the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries enacted further cuts to oil production amid slowing global demand.”

James Marple, Senior Economist of TD Economics
James Marple
Senior Economist of TD Economics

James Marple, Senior Economist of TD Economics, said inflation heated up in November in Canada and it was mostly an energy story.

“We do not expect to see a burst of inflationary pressures over the next year. With the economy likely still constrained by uncertainty and cautious consumers, growth is likely to come in close to potential, limiting inflation,” he wrote in a commentary note. “The Bank of Canada has noted how close inflation is to its target in its deliberations on monetary policy. Still, it is more likely to respond to data on the real economy, especially the state of the job market, as it plots its next course of action in the New Year.”

Statistics Canada said that the price of cigarettes rose five per cent on a month-over-month basis in Alberta following a provincial tax increase on cigarettes, which was implemented at the end of October.

“The traveller accommodation index continued to trend downward in November, falling 4.2 per cent year over year. After a period of strong international tourism growth from 2014 to 2017, prices for traveller accommodation have declined year over year for all but one month since January 2018.

“Alberta was the sole province where prices for traveller accommodation rose on a month-over-month basis in November (+5.6 per cent), largely attributable to higher demand related to the 107th annual Grey Cup, which was hosted in Calgary,” stated the federal agency.

© Calgary’s Business

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