British Columbians continue to pay more for a variety of goods including food and shelter as inflation rose by more than two per cent this year.
According to Statistics Canada, British Columbia’s consumer price index (CPI) was 2.2 per cent higher in February 2019 than in the same month of 2018. If food and energy are excluded from the basket of goods used to calculate CPI, the overall inflation rate was 2.3 per cent.
The cost of food climbed 2.9 per cent since February of 2018, with the cost of vegetables rising 8.4 per cent. Fish and other seafood (plus 6.6 per cent), fresh fruit (plus 5.4 per cent), and coffee and tea (plus 3.2 per cent) also recorded significant increases along with other items including groceries purchased from stores and meals purchased from restaurants (both up three per cent).
Shelter costs also rose for both renters and home owners, as did transportation costs. Notably, the price of gasoline dropped by 4.4 per cent year-to-year, while the cost of public transportation between cities rose by 3.3 per cent. In other words, it cost less to drive a private vehicle, and more to ride the bus.
The latest CPI index also contains bad news for beer lovers and smokers. Consumers paid more for alcoholic beverages and tobacco products (up 5.6 per cent) with significant price increases include cigarettes (up 11.8 per cent) and beer purchased from stores (5.4 per cent).
Victoria’s inflation was 2.3 per cent, a tick above Vancouver’s of 2.2 per cent.