Ottawa, March 28 (IANS) Canada’s consumer prices unexpectedly rose 1.2 percent in February, or 0.7 percentage points higher than the previous month, following several months’ muted price gains, Statistics Canada said.
Much higher gasoline prices, which increased 3.9 percent year-over-year following a 1.8 percent decrease in January, was one of the main drivers behind the price rise. Gas prices also surged 8.4 percent on a monthly basis, the highest since May 2008, reported Xinhua.
Besides, higher prices for the purchase of passenger vehicles also helped push up the inflation rate. The passenger vehicles purchase index rose 2.5 percent in the 12 months to February, after declining 0.8 percent in January.
Overall, transportation prices were up 2.0 percent year-over-year in February, after falling 0.5 percent in the previous month.
Although the jump in the Consumer Price Index (CPI) was the largest monthly rise in more than 20 years, the 1.2-percent increase is well within the central bank’s inflation target of 2 percent, and Canada’s tame trend of consumer prices remains unchanged.