Canada Inflation Rate Spikes to Highest Level Since August 1991
TORONTO (Sputnik) - Canada’s inflation rate rose to 5.7 percent in February, marking the highest increase since August of 1991, the state statistics agency said on Wednesday.
“In February, Canadian consumer prices increased 5.7% year over year, up from a 5.1% gain in January. This was the largest gain since August 1991 (+6.0%),” Statistics Canada said in its monthly month Consumer Price Index (CPI) report.
Skyrocketing energy and housing prices are largely responsible for keeping the inflation rate above 5% for the second straight month, the agency said. Excluding the gas price spike, the CPI rose 4.7% in February.
Statistics Canada said prices at the pump were up 32.3% as a result of “geopolitical conflict” in Eastern Europe and the Middle East. Meanwhile, housing prices rose 6.6% in February - the sharpest increase since August 1983.
The spikes are having an impact at the grocery checkout counters as food prices have soared 7.4% year-over-year, with meat and dairy products seeing the sharpest increase.
Critics are placing blame at the feet of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and his government, with Conservative Party leader-candidate Pierre Poilievre branding the spike “Justinflation” and saying Ottawa’s monetary policy is driving Canadians into financial hardship.
The Canadian inflation rate last topped current level during the 1990-92 recession when the CPI hovered between 4% and 6.5%, reaching a high of 6.91% percent in January 1991.