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Inflation Jumps February 2009

Stats Canada published the Consumer Price Index info for February and year over year the inflation rate is at 1.4% which is up from the January numbers which was 1.1%.  The main culprits in this jump is the cost of food and shelter which makes sense to me, given what I have been seeing (although the shelter part is a bit confusing).

Food prices, the largest factor, increased 7.4% during the 12-month period to February, on the heels of a 7.3% increase in January. Shelter costs, the second largest, increased 3.0%, slightly slower than the 3.3% rise in January.

Costly Food

Food prices going up I have seen myself in the stores, and this worries me. Given that fuel prices dropped a great deal quickly (and assuming that fuel costs is a major factor in food prices), this continued high rate of price increase is a bit confusing.

Is the system building in a higher price, or are they attempting to recuperate their losses from the past summer due to the increased fuel prices. 

Gas Cheap

Gasoline prices in February 2009 were 19.7% below levels in February last year. Excluding gasoline, the CPI rose 2.5% in the 12 months to February. Overall, energy prices fell 8.8% during the 12-month period to February, less than the 10.9% fall in January.

This makes sense to me given what I have seen at the pumps.

Down Trend Over

After 5 months of inflation dropping month to month, this is the first month where the CPI went up, month over month, thanks to increased food prices and such. Were we in deflation there for a while? Not really just not increasing as quick.

The 12-month change in the Consumer Price Index (CPI) and CPI excluding energy

CPI By Region

  Relative importance1 February 2008 February 2009 January 2008 to January 2009 February 2008 to February 2009
        % change
Canada 100.002 112.2 113.8 1.1 1.4
Newfoundland and Labrador 1.27 112.4 113.4 0.9 0.9
Prince Edward Island 0.35 114.6 115.7 -0.1 1.0
Nova Scotia 2.56 113.9 114.3 -0.1 0.4
New Brunswick 1.97 111.7 112.0 -0.5 0.3
Quebec 21.05 111.4 112.3 0.5 0.8
Ontario 41.22 111.4 113.1 1.4 1.5
Manitoba 3.06 111.2 113.1 1.4 1.7
Saskatchewan 2.64 113.6 116.5 2.4 2.6
Alberta 11.43 119.0 121.5 1.2 2.1
British Columbia 14.29 110.3 111.9 1.4 1.5
Whitehorse 0.06 110.1 113.7 2.4 3.3
Yellowknife 0.08 112.3 114.5 2.7 2.0
Iqaluit (Dec. 2002=100) 0.02 108.4 111.8 3.3 3.1
2005 CPI basket weights at April 2007 prices, Canada: Effective May 2007. Detailed weights are available under the Documentation section of survey 2301 (
Figures may not add up to 100% due to rounding.

Inflation in 2009

Feel Free to Comment

  1. Thanks for that info. Inflation has not been something discussed very widely, other than as a remote possibility lurking in the horizon as a result of money printing.

    I wonder why it’s so high in Whitehorse?

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