Surging gas prices, Ukraine war pushed inflation to 6.7% in March: Statistics Canada (Inflation Canada)

The annual rate of inflation hit 6.7 per cent in March, the fastest year-over-year increase in the consumer price index in over 31 years, Statistics Canada said Wednesday.

The increase compared with a gain of 5.7 per cent in February, and was the highest reading since inflation hit 6.9 per cent in January 1991 when the GST was introduced.

Fuelling much of the increase in March were higher prices at the pumps as gasoline prices rose 39.8 per cent compared with the same month one year earlier.

Statistics Canada said the consumer price index would have been up 5.5 per cent year-over-year if -

it had excluded gasoline from its calculations, suggesting far broader price pressures.

The agency said prices were driven higher in March on the back of the country’s hot housing market, supply-chain constraints and the war in Ukraine that has affected prices for oil and food.

Statistics Canada said homeowner replacement costs, which includes prices for new home prices, rose 12.9 per cent year-over-year in March.

Grocery store prices rose 8.7 per cent year-over-year, the fastest annual rate since March 2009, aided by the largest annual increase in dairy and egg prices since February 1983.

Provincially, Statistics Canada said growth was most pronounced in Prince Edward Island where prices rose 8.9 per cent year-over-year.