Alberta inflation rate holds steady in September

Alberta’s inflation rate held steady at 1.3 per cent in September compared to 1.9 per cent nationally, according to data released Wednesday by Statistics Canada.

The federal agency said British Columbia had the highest year-over-year change in prices at 2.4 per cent while Newfoundland and Labrador had the lowest rate at 0.5 per cent.

The Consumer Price Index was up by 1.4 per cent in the Edmonton Census Metropolitan Area and by 1.1 per cent in the Calgary CMA.

“When highly volatile gasoline prices are excluded, Alberta’s inflation rate in September was 2.3 per cent and closer to the national average of 2.4 per cent,” said ATB Financial’s Economics & Research Team in its daily economic update The Owl.

“Gasoline prices in Alberta were down 21.1 per cent on a year-over-year basis in September compared to an average drop of 10.0 per cent for the country as a whole. The drop in gas prices pushed down the cost of operating a passenger vehicle in Alberta by 5.5 per cent while the cost of public transit rose by 1.5 per cent.”

ATB said food prices in Alberta were up 3.9 per cent in September compared to a year earlier led by rises in the cost of vegetables (11.7 per cent) and meat (6.7 per cent). The price of food purchased from stores was up by 4.2 per cent compared to 3.3 per cent for eating out.

“Shelter costs in the province were up by 1.8 per cent with rental accommodation rising 2.0 per cent, owned accommodation by 1.7 per cent, and water, fuel and electricity by 2.0 per cent,” it said.

James Marple, Senior Economist with TD Economics, said recent Canadian economic data remains mixed but still generally solid.

“On the GDP front, growth looks to have cooled in the third quarter, but job growth remains buoyant and the housing market continues to make strides. This is likely to keep the Bank of Canada on the sidelines when it meets later this month,” he wrote in a commentary note.

© Calgary’s Business


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