Winnipeg Free Press - ONLINE EDITION

Manitoba's inflation rate second-lowest in country

  • Print

Manitoba’s annual inflation rate dropped to one of the lowest levels in the country — 1.9 per cent — in June, Statistics Canada data shows.

That’s half a percentage point lower than the national inflation rate of 2.4 per cent, and sixth-tenths of a point lower than May’s annual rate of 2.6 per cent.

The improvement left Manitoba tied with Alberta and British Columbia for the second-lowest provincial annual inflation rate. Quebec boasts the lowest, at 1.7 per cent, while Ontario has the highest at 3.0 per cent.

Some of the consumer goods that have dropped in price over the past 12 months in Manitoba include non-alcoholic beverages (down 13.8 per cent), furniture (-8.2 per cent), home entertainment equipment, parts and services (-4.6 per cent), and prescribed medicines (down 3.9 per cent), Statistics Canada said.

Some of the items that saw some of the biggest increases during the same period were natural gas (up 11.8 per cent), internet access services and subscriptions to online content (+11.5 per cent), cigarettes (+5.3 per cent) and property taxes and food purchased from restaurants (both up 4.2 per cent).

Nationally, Canadians continue to pay more for food, gasoline and most other consumer items as the annual inflation rose to a new two-year high in June.

The one-tenth increase in the so-called headline inflation rate was matched by an identical gain in the core reading to 1.8 per cent, very near the Bank of Canada’s two per cent target. The central bank watches core closely because it is a better indicator of underlying price pressures as it does not include volatile items such as energy.

Still, the steady march in prices since October, when Canada’s annual inflation stood at 0.7 per cent, has been more persistent and stronger than the central bank and most economists had envisioned, although the Bank of Canada continues to believe the phenomenon will be short-lived.

Earlier this week, bank governor Stephen Poloz said the surprising strength in inflation has been mostly due to temporary factors, such as the high cost of energy.

But the considerable slack in the economy, low wage gains, and strong competition in the retail sector should work their way through the system to moderate prices going forward, he said. The bank sees inflation dipping below two per cent in the next year or so before returning to target in 2016.

Poloz did make one concession to events — he dropped his warning that a key risk to the economy is low inflation.

June’s gains showed more broad-based pressure on prices. Energy, particularly gasoline and natural gas, continued to be main drivers with year-over-year gains of 5.4 per cent and 19.4 per cent over last June. Both, however, were higher in May and so represented a moderating if still significant influence on inflation.

Overall, the energy index rose 6.7 per cent last month, compared to 8.4 per cent in May.

Meanwhile, food prices are becoming an increasingly important factor, increasing 2.9 per cent in June from 2.3 per cent in May. Food purchased in stores rose even more to 3.2 per cent as consumers paid 9.4 per cent more for meat and 9.5 per cent for fresh vegetables than they did last year at this time.

Government taxes on tobacco continued to exert an influence on the price of cigarettes, which are now 10.3 per cent higher than last June.

Not all items Canadians consume saw price gains, however. Cost for air transportation, digital computing, furniture, video equipment and personal care supplies were lower this June than 12 months earlier.

On monthly basis, prices were 0.1 per cent higher than in May, the agency said.

— Staff/Canadian Press

Fact Check

Fact Check

Have you found an error, or know of something we’ve missed in one of our stories?
Please use the form below and let us know.

* Required
  • Please post the headline of the story or the title of the video with the error.

  • Please post exactly what was wrong with the story.

  • Please indicate your source for the correct information.

  • Yes

    No

  • This will only be used to contact you if we have a question about your submission, it will not be used to identify you or be published.

  • Cancel

Having problems with the form?

Contact Us Directly
  • Print

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

Have Your Say

New to commenting? Check out our Frequently Asked Questions.

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscribers only. why?

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press Subscribers only. why?

The Winnipeg Free Press does not necessarily endorse any of the views posted. By submitting your comment, you agree to our Terms and Conditions. These terms were revised effective April 16, 2010.

letters

Make text: Larger | Smaller

LATEST VIDEO

Wasylycia-Leis says Bowman and Ouellette ran a good campaign

View more like this

Photo Store Gallery

  • Marc Gallant / Winnipeg Free Press. Local- Deer in Canola field near Elma, Manitoba. 060706.
  • STDUP ‚Äì Beautiful West End  begins it's summer of bloom with boulevard s, front yards  and even back lane gardens ,  coming alive with flowers , daisies and poppies  dress up a backyard lane on Camden St near Wolseley Ave  KEN GIGLIOTTI  / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS  /  June 26 2012

View More Gallery Photos

Poll

Do you support Pimicikamak First Nation's protest against Manitoba Hydro?

View Results

View Related Story

Ads by Google