Canada’s gasoline, grocery prices hit new highs in February

Statistics Canada says consumer prices surged to 5.7 per cent on a year-over-year basis last month, up from 5.1 per cent in January, the largest gain since August 1991.

The agency says it’s the second straight month where the inflation rate topped 5 per cent.

Gas prices were a big driver in the spike with motorist paying 32 per cent more at the pump compared to this time last year.

Statistics Canada says the price increased amid the Russia-Ukraine crisis, as well as uncertainty surrounding global oil supply and higher international energy prices. The growing transportation costs continued to be a factor also putting pressure on food prices last month.

“Prices for food purchased from stores (+7.4%) rose at a faster year-over-year pace in February than in January (+6.5%). This is the largest yearly increase since May 2009,” Statistics Canada said.

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Canadians likely saw some big price jumps in the dairy aisle, according to the agency, because the Canadian Dairy Commission was able to increase the farm gate milk price on Feb. 1. That is the minimum price cap placed on products like milk, cheese, and butter in Canada to “ensure income stability for domestic farmers.”

“The farm gate milk price increased $0.06 per litre (+8.4%), the largest increase to date, in order to partially offset the increased costs of production associated with COVID-19 (particularly animal feed, energy and fertilizer costs). Additionally, the support price for butter, the price at which the CDC buys and sells butter within the framework of its various programs, rose from $8.7149 to $9.7923 per kg, a 12.4% increase,” the agency explained.

Fresh milk prices rose at the fastest month-over-month pace in nearly 30 years.

More to come

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