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December inflation holds steady at 2.2% despite higher gas prices

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Statistics Canada says the annual pace of inflation held steady in December as higher energy prices were offset in part by slower growth in the price of fresh vegetables. The agency says the consumer price index in December was up 2.2 per cent compared with a year ago, matching the year-over-year increase in November.

Energy prices in December were up 5.5 per cent compared with a year earlier, while gasoline prices were up 7.4 per cent compared with December 2018 when crude oil prices fell amid a global oversupply.

The year-over-year growth in fresh vegetable prices slowed to 1.5 per cent in December compared with an increase of 7.1 per cent in November.

Excluding gasoline, the consumer price index was up 2.0 per cent, which Statistics Canada says was the smallest increase since November 2018. The average of Canada’s three measures for core inflation, which are considered better gauges of underlying price pressures, was 2.10 per cent compared with a revised figure of 2.13 per cent for November.

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