The annual inflation rate in Alberta rose at a faster pace in 2018 than the national average.
Statistics Canada reported Friday that inflation in the province was 2.4 per cent in 2018 while for Canada it was 2.3 per cent. In 2017, the Consumer Price Index in both Alberta and Canada rose by 1.6 per cent at an annual rate.
“In Alberta, electricity prices rose 27.5 per cent in 2018, which was the largest increase since 2011. At the same time, consumers paid 8.5 per cent less for natural gas in 2018, as a surplus in the commodity market drove consumer prices lower,” said the federal agency.
Nationally, StatsCan said the inflation increase in 2018 was the largest since 2011 and coincided with strong labour market conditions, including a low unemployment rate throughout the year and strong wage growth in the first half of the year. Excluding gasoline, the annual average CPI rose 1.9 per cent.
“Prices were up on an annual average basis in all eight major components in 2018. The transportation index (+4.7 per cent) was the largest contributor to the increase,” it said.
“The cost of energy increased 6.7 per cent in 2018, following a 5.3 per cent gain in 2017. Consumer prices for gasoline rose more in 2018 (+12.6 per cent) than in 2017 (+11.8 per cent), as an increase in global crude oil prices and exchange rate pressures led to higher prices at the pump. Likewise, consumers paid 18.5 per cent more for fuel oil and other fuels compared with the previous year.”
In December, the CPI in Canada rose by two per cent on a year-over-year basis following a 1.7 per cent increase in November. Alberta saw a 2.1 per cent year-over-year hike in December, following a 1.7 per cent increase in November as well.
– Mario Toneguzzi, Calgary’s Business