Gasoline prices were up 12% in the 12 months to September, following a 19.9% increase in August: StatsCan

Mario ToneguzziConsumer prices rose in September on a year-over-year basis across Alberta and in the province’s major cities of Calgary and Edmonton, reported Statistics Canada on Friday.

The federal agency said the Consumer Price Index was up by 2.8 per cent in Calgary, 3.3 per cent in Edmonton and 3.0 per cent in Alberta.

Month-over-month, however, prices dipped by 0.4 per cent in Alberta and in Edmonton, and by 0.5 per cent in Calgary.

StatsCan said the CPI rose 2.2 per cent on a year-over-year basis throughout Canada in September, following a 2.8 per cent increase in August. Month-over-month, the CPI decreased 0.4 per cent “as transitory pressures from the gasoline, air transportation and travel tours indexes, which boosted the all-items CPI in July and August, eased.”

The federal agency said prices were up in all eight major components in the 12 months to September. The transportation index increased at a slower pace in September (+3.9 per cent ) than in August (+7.2 per cent), but remained the largest contributor to the year-over-year increase.

“Prices for durable goods rose 0.2 per cent year over year, after increasing 1.1 per cent in August. The purchase of passenger vehicles index (+0.6 per cent) rose less on a year-over-year basis in September than in the previous month (+2.3 per cent), which was largely attributable to the lower availability of new model-year vehicles compared with the same month last year,” said StatsCan.

“Year over year, prices for non-durable goods (+3.0 per cent) increased at a more moderate pace in September than in August (+3.8 per cent). Gasoline prices were up 12.0 per cent in the 12 months to September, following a 19.9 per cent increase in August. Supply disruptions in the wake of Hurricane Harvey, which drove up prices at the pump in September 2017, no longer affect the 12-month movement. The price of services (+2.5 per cent) increased more slowly on a year-over-year basis in September than in August (+3.1 per cent). The cost of travel decreased on a month-over-month basis in September, with air transportation (-16.6 per cent), traveller accommodation (-6.2 per cent) and travel tours (-3.4 per cent) registering monthly price declines.”

Mario Toneguzzi is a veteran Calgary-based journalist who worked for 35 years for the Calgary Herald, including 12 years as a senior business writer.

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