Canada’s consumer prices increased 5.7 per cent year over year in February, up from a 5.1 percent gain in January, Statistics Canada said.
This was the largest gain since August 1991, and February marked the second consecutive month where headline inflation exceeded 5 per cent, Xinhua news agency quoted Statistics Canada as saying.
Excluding gasoline, the Consumer Price Index (CPI) rose 4.7 per cent year over year in February, surpassing the gain of 4.3 per cent in January when the index increased at the fastest pace since its introduction in 1999.
Shelter costs continued to trend higher, rising at the fastest year-over-year pace since August 1983, according to Statistics Canada.
On a monthly basis, the CPI rose 1 per cent in February, the largest increase since February 2013, following a 0.9 per cent increase in January, Statistics Canada said.
Andrew Grantham, an economist with the Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce, said the spike higher in gasoline prices in early March, despite now partly fading, should see headline inflation accelerate again next month to just over 6 percent.
Meanwhile, supply chain issues will take longer to resolve and prevent inflation from decelerating later in the year, he predicted, saying that while the combination of strong domestic growth and high inflation will make it relatively easy for the Bank of Canada to continue hiking for the next few meetings, it will face a more delicate balancing act in the second half of the year with growth likely to slow but inflation likely to remain above-target for longer.