Farmers Forum staff
OTTAWA — Double-digit food inflation persists in Canada, defying a modest slowdown in the overall inflation rate over the last three months, according to Statistic Canada’s latest Consumer Price Index (CPI) update.
Food prices were up 11.4 % in January from a year earlier. That’s well ahead of a 5.9 % year-over-year increase in the overall CPI, which dropped from 6.3 % in December and 6.8 % in November 2022.
Despite that decline, however, inflation remains well above the Bank of Canada’s 2% target. The performance is bad enough that the Conference Board of Canada suggests the central bank may have to raise interest rates again in March.
StatCan attributes the CPI decline to lower prices paid for cellular services and passenger vehicles in January. The price of fuel was up 4.7 %, however, and Canadian consumers will pay more again at the pump when the Trudeau government’s next carbon-tax hike takes effect on April 1st.
Meanwhile, food inflation is not abating and has hovered around 11 % for six months. January’s 11.4 % year-over-year increase in food prices followed similar numbers in December (11 %) and November (11.4 %).