Canada’s inflation rate slowed to 5.2 per cent in February, the largest deceleration since April 2020.
That was down from a 5.9 per cent increase the previous month, according to Statistics Canada.
The agency said the year-over-year slowdown was due to what is known as a base-year effect.
Canadians saw broad price increases last February — and throughout early 2022 — amid Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
Those higher prices were used as the basis for year-over-year comparison, leading to a downward impact on inflation.
StatCan said despite the overall cooldown, grocery prices continued to soar and outpace overall inflation.
Food purchased from stores rose 10.6 per cent year over year in February, marking the seventh consecutive month of double-digit increases.
“Continuing to put upward pressure on grocery prices are supply constraints amid unfavourable weather in growing regions, as well as higher input costs such as animal feed, energy and packaging materials,” said StatCan.
Price growth for several food items accelerated on a year-over-year basis, including cereal, fruit juices, sugar and confectionary, along with fish, seafood and other marine products.
On the flip side, price growth slowed on a year-over-year basis for non-alcoholic beverages, meat, vegetables, dairy and bakery products.
Shelter costs also increased at a slower pace for the third consecutive month, while energy prices fell year over year amid greater supply.
Regional inflation numbers
Prices rose at a slower pace in February compared with January in all provinces except British Columbia, where prices remained unchanged.
Prince Edward Island (6.7 per cent), Nova Scotia (6.5 per cent), Manitoba (6.4 per cent) and British Columbia (6.2 per cent) had the highest rates of inflation.
That was followed by New Brunswick (5.9 per cent), Saskatchewan (5.7 per cent), Quebec (5.6 per cent), and Newfoundland and Labrador (5.4 per cent).
Ontario (5.1 per cent) and Alberta (3.6 per cent) were the only provinces with inflation rates below the national level.
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