Consumers pinched hard in March
Alberta's inflation rate hit 6.5% last month
By Rob Roach, ATB Economics 20 April 2022 1 min read
According to Statistics Canada, headline inflation in Alberta went from 5.5% in February to 6.5% in March.
The last time the Consumer Price Index was this high in Alberta was in February 1991.
Consumer price growth also accelerated nationally, going from 5.7% to 6.7%.
The increase was broad-based with the March inflation rate in Alberta higher in seven of eight major categories than it was in February. Shelter costs were the exception, with the rate for this category going from 6.6% in February to a still eye-popping 5.6% in March.
Food prices were 6.8% higher than 12 months earlier while energy costs were 30.7% higher. When food and energy are excluded, core inflation in Alberta came in at 4.3%.
The high rate of inflation is linked to a range of factors including “sustained price pressure in Canadian housing markets, substantial supply constraints and geopolitical conflict, which has affected energy, commodity, and agriculture markets.” Vigorous consumer demand and lower unemployment are also supporting higher prices.
The Bank of Canada’s most recent forecast has inflation in Canada averaging 5.3% in 2022, up from its previous forecast in January of 4.2%. The Bank’s target inflation rate is 2.0%. The inflation rate in Alberta was 1.7% in 2019.
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