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Inflation remains steady in Alberta

Inflation remains steady in Alberta

Posted on: 1/18/2019 | Author: ATB Financial's Economics + Research Team

No one likes the idea of having to pay more for the goods and services they buy. The Owl readers of a certain generation will remember the 1970s and 80s, when annual price inflation in Canada ran in the double digits. These days, price inflation remains much lower and far more stable, running very close to the Bank of Canada’s target of 2 per cent.

Alberta is no exception. According to Statistics Canada, the Consumer Price Index rose 2.1 per cent in December compared to a year ago, just slightly higher than the Canadian average of 2.0 per cent. For 2018 overall, annual prices rose 2.4 per cent, compared to 1.6 per cent in 2017.

But, as consumers know, not all price increases are created equally. Some price are rising at a far greater rate than others, while prices for certain goods and services are actually falling.

Leading the charge on price increases in Alberta was the cost for electricity, which jumped a whopping 31 per cent between December 2017 and December 2018. Other items with higher-than-average annual price increases include tobacco products (+3.9 per cent), food purchased from restaurants (+2.7 per cent) and alcohol (+2.4 per cent).

At the other end of the index were falling prices for gasoline (-7.2 per cent), natural gas (-7.0 per cent) and health care (-0.5 per cent).

On Monday of next week, The Owl will take a closer look at price inflation for food in Alberta.

Inflation in Alberta, graph

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