Inflation in Canada rises to 2.4% in June

The cost of living in Canada increased by 2.4 per cent in the year ended in June, an uptick of 0.1 percentage points from May's level and farther out on the high side of the range the Bank of Canada likes to see while making interest rate decisions.

Ontario posts largest increase with inflation rate of 3%, Quebec smallest at 1.7%

An increase in food prices was one of the core drivers of inflation last month, Statistics Canada said. (Jacques Boissinot/Canadian Press)

The cost of living in Canada increased by 2.4 per cent in the year ended in June, an uptick of 0.1 percentage points from May's level and farther out on the high side of the range the Bank of Canada likes to see while making interest rate decisions.

Statistics Canada said higher prices for food, shelter and transportation were the main drivers for the increase. But all major categories that the agency monitors were higher.

The uptick was enough to move the loonie a quarter of a cent higher, up to 93.24 cents US.

Food much more expensive

Prices for vegetables and meat at grocery stores were each up by more than nine per cent, on an annualized basis. The energy sector was also a standout on the upside in the past year: Gasoline by 5.4 per cent in the past year and natural gas by as much as 19.4 per cent. 

More taxes keep pushing up the price of tobacco. Cigarettes now cost an average of 10.3 per cent more than they did last June.

Across the country, Ontario posted the largest increase with an inflation rate of three per cent, while Quebec recorded the smallest, at 1.7 per cent.

Since bottoming out at 0.7 per cent in October, Canada's inflation rate has marched steadily higher in every month since.

"Inflation continues to come in strong," Scotiabank said in a research note after the data came out Friday. "We don’t expect this theme to fade away."

The increase in inflation has been enough to cause the Bank of Canada to drop its warning on the dangers of low inflation from its four-times-a-year Monetary Policy Report earlier this week.

Still, the uptick in prices wasn't completely across the board, as prices for air transportation, digital computing, furniture, video equipment and personal care supplies were lower this June than they were a year earlier.

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