Higher prices at the pump contributed to a one per cent jump in the Consumer Price Index in January 2021 compared to 12 months ago. (Graham Hughes/The Canadian Press)

Higher prices at the pump contributed to a one per cent jump in the Consumer Price Index in January 2021 compared to 12 months ago. (Graham Hughes/The Canadian Press)

Higher gas prices led to higher January consumer prices in Canada

Prices for other goods including food also rose, but at a slower pace

New figures show a financial squeeze at the pumps as higher prices for gasoline and other consumer goods led to accelerated inflation in January.

The Consumer Price Index (CPI) rose 1 per cent in January compared to the same period in 2020, according to Statistics Canada, with higher gasoline prices (up 6.1 per cent compared to December 2020) combining with higher prices for other goods.

This increase, the second in as many months, coincided with production cutbacks by major oil-producing countries responding to local global demand for crude oil.

Gas prices were 3.3 per cent lower than January 2020, as the global outbreak of COVID-19 heightened demand and uncertainty in the oil and gas market.

RELATED: Canadians paid more for food and housing in October as inflation rose

Statistics Canada also found that Canadians paid more for vehicles (up to 2.9 per cent), phones (up 3.4 per cent) and phone plans (up 4.2 per cent).

Prices for meat and vegetables also rose in January, but at a slower pace thanks to good harvests in the United States and Mexico as well as the diversion of food from the food service sector toward retail.

Looking at regional data, British Columbians experienced slightly higher inflation than Canada as a whole at 1.1 per cent in January, while neighbouring Alberta’s inflation rate of 0.8 per cent was below the national figure.


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wolfgang.depner@peninsulanewsreview.com