Home / Around Canada / Inflation rate cooled to 6.8% in November as gas got cheaper — but food keeps getting more expensive

Inflation rate cooled to 6.8% in November as gas got cheaper — but food keeps getting more expensive

Canada’s inflation rate cooled to 6.8 per cent last month as prices for gasoline and furniture went down, but the cost of food and rent went up. 

Economists had been expecting the overall rate to cool by even more, to 6.7%.

Canada’s inflation rate cooled to 6.8 per cent last month as prices for gasoline and furniture went down, but the cost of food and rent went up.

Statistics Canada reported Wednesday that gasoline prices across the country fell by 3.6 per cent during the month. They’re still up by 13.7 per cent compared to where they were a year ago, but that’s down from the 17.8 per cent annual increase clocked the month before.

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The price of a fill-up may be inching down from record highs, but the cost to fill up a belly continues to increase at an astonishing pace.

Grocery bills increased at an 11.4 per cent annual pace last month, up from the 11 per cent increase seen in October.

A variety of food items have seen above-average increases in the past 12 months, including:

  • Edible fats and oils, up 26 per cent.
  • Coffee and tea, up 16.8 per cent.
  • Eggs, up 16.7 per cent.
  • Cereal products, up 15.7 per cent.
  • Bakery products, up 15.5 per cent.

The cost to keep a roof over one’s head is also increasing at a rapid clip, with overall shelter costs up 7.2 per cent in the past year.

Within the shelter category, mortgage interest costs have risen by 14.5 per cent in the past year, while rent has increased by 5.9 per cent. That’s the fastest pace of increase in rents we’ve seen since the early 1990s, Bank of Montreal economist Doug Porter noted.

Beyond the grocery aisle, Porter says prices for items such as furniture and vehicles are still increasing, but at a much slower pace than before, which is why he says it’s becoming clear that the route for inflation to come back down to a more normal level will be an “achingly slow process.”

“While lower pump prices will help chop next month’s rate, the fact that many measures of core inflation are still nudging higher is a clear warning sign of persistent underlying pressures,” he said.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Pete Evans is the senior business writer for CBCNews.ca. Prior to coming to the CBC, his work has appeared in the Globe & Mail, the Financial Post, the Toronto Star, and Canadian Business Magazine. Twitter: @p_evans Email: pete.evans@cbc.ca

 

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