Canadian CPI rose more than expected in January

The Consumer Price Index (CPI) rose 1.7% on a year-over-year basis in January, following a 1.9% increase in December. Excluding energy, the CPI increased 1.7%, matching the gain in December.

Prices were up in all eight major components in the 12 months to January, with the transportation (+3.2%) and shelter (+1.4%) indexes contributing the most to the gain.

Consumers paid 3.2% more for transportation in January, following a 4.9% increase in December. Growth in this index was moderated by the purchase of passenger vehicles index, which increased less on a year-over-year basis in January (+1.4%) than in December (+3.7%). Gasoline prices rose 7.8% in January, after a 12.2% gain in December.

Food prices were 2.3% higher in January on a year-over-year basis, after rising 2.0% in December. This gain, the largest year-over-year movement in the food index since April 2016, was led by higher prices for food purchased from restaurants, which were up 3.7% in January after increasing 2.9% in December. Year-over-year growth in the fresh vegetables (+9.0%) and fresh fruit (+2.8%) indexes intensified in January.