The cost of living continues to rise at the fastest rate in decades, with Canada’s official inflation rate rising to an annual rate of 6.8% in April, a new high in 31 years.
Statistics Canada reported on Wednesday that the cost of living has risen, primarily due to rising food and housing costs. Food prices have risen 9.7% over the past year, while housing costs have risen 7.4%.
Gasoline prices, although still well above where they were a year ago, fell slightly during the month.
Economists had expected the inflation figure to decline slightly from March’s 6.7% level, but it rose slightly instead. It’s a troubling sign that inflation has yet to peak, even though it’s at its highest level since 1991.
The United States has also seen its inflation rate soar in recent months, but April figures suggest the wave may have peaked there, with the official figure cooling to 8.3% in April from 8 .5% in March.
“Core inflation has been accelerating in Canada for a few months now, unlike in the United States,” said economist Royce Mendes of financial services conglomerate Desjardins. “What has gone up is still not going down in Canadian inflation, and may be soon.”
The high inflation figure makes it even more likely that the Bank of Canada will raise its benchmark interest rate at its next policy meeting in early June.