The cost of living in Canada increased at an annual rate of 1.4 per cent in February, a major slowdown from January's two-per-cent level.

Statistics Canada reported Friday that the Consumer Price Index fell from the previous month because of a big decline of 13.1 per cent in gasoline prices compared to where they were last year.

If gasoline prices are stripped out of the calculation, the inflation rate would be 1.9 per cent.

Food prices, however, were one of the biggest factors keeping the inflation rate up. Consumers paid 3.9 per cent more for food last month compared with February 2015, the data agency said.

Regionally, the inflation rate slowed down in every province. New Brunswick posted the highest annual rate, at 2.4 per cent.

More to come