Driven by accelerating food and energy prices, the rate of 12-month consumer price inflation jumped to 3.3% in March, from 2.2% in February. Higher than forecast at 2.8%.
The Bank of Canada’s core inflation measure also rose, to 1.7%, after several months of decline that left the rate at a record low 0.9% in February.
The increase in inflation was anticipated and, while significant, core consumer price inflation remains in the lower half of the Bank of Canada’s target range.
Energy prices increased 12.8% during the 12 months to March, following a 10.6% advance in February. Gasoline prices increased 18.9% in March, following a 15.7% gain in the 12 months to February. Prices for fuel oil and other fuels increased 31.3%, while electricity prices rose 4.3%.
Excluding energy, the Consumer Price Index (CPI) rose 2.4% in the 12 months to March, following a 1.4% increase in February.
Prices for food purchased from stores rose 3.7% in March, the largest year-over-year advance since August 2009. This increase follows a 2.0% gain in February.
Other items that contributed significantly to the pickup in prices were travel services, clothing, and the purchase of passenger vehicles.