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Canada’s inflation rate jumps to new 18-year high of 4.4%

Canada’s inflation rate jumps to new 18-year high of 4.4%

Canada’s inflation rate rose to a new 18-year high of 4.4 per cent in September, with higher prices for transportation, shelter and food contributing the most to the jump in the cost of living.

Statistics Canada said Wednesday that the transportation index, which includes gasoline, rose by more than nine per cent.

Gasoline prices have risen by almost 33 per cent in the past year, the data agency said. In addition to the cost of a fill-up, a major factor in the cost of transportation is the price of a car, which is also going up at a swift pace. The data agency calculates that prices for new cars rose by 7.2 per cent in the past year.

“The global semiconductor chip shortage, leading to limited supply, contributed to higher prices in September,” Statistics Canada said.

Shelter costs have gone up by 4.8 per cent in the past year, while food prices are up by 3.9 per cent.

Prices for just about every type of food went up sharply, especially meat, which rose at an annual pace of 9.5 per cent. That’s the fastest pace of increase in meat prices since 2015.

Shopping for food at a grocery store in Toronto on Tuesday, Martin Rolin said price increases have pushed meat beyond his budget.

“I stopped buying beef a few years ago because it’s just too expensive,” he told CBC News in an interview. “I usually try to get [groceries] during sales but they’re getting reduced less and less.”

Chicken prices are up 10 per cent in the past year, while beef is up by more than 13. Pork is up by more than nine per cent, Statistics Canada says.

The only part of the grocery basket that’s giving shoppers relief right now is fresh veggies, which have gotten 3.2 per cent cheaper in the past year.

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