22 February 2007
I knew I was feeling poorer....
Calgary's inflation rate dwarfs national average
Published: Tuesday, February 20, 2007
Like residents of most places in Canada, Calgarians experienced a slower pace of price increases in January, Statistics Canada reported Tuesday.
The increasingly benign rate of price increases across Canada generally — a 1.2 per cent national annual rate in January compared to a 1.6 per cent annual rate in December — has most analysts convinced that interest rates are now unlikely to change for some time, with the Bank of Canada unconcerned about the generally negative effect of rapid price gains on the economy.
Nonetheless, Calgary continued to have to deal with the fastest rising prices in Canada, with a January inflation rate of 4.6 per cent produced by higher shelter, particularly owned accommodation costs. January's result was a decline from the 5.7 per cent rate recorded in December, 2006, helped in part by lower utility costs compared to a year earlier.
Like its premier city, Alberta topped out the provincial inflation numbers but did see lower cost increases than experienced as 2006 drew to a close. Across Wild Rose Country, prices in January were 3.9 per cent higher than the same month a year earlier, a decline from the 4.7 per cent rate in December.
Statistics Canada released rates for all major cities, but cautioned that figures may fluctuate widely because they are based on small statistical samples (Previous month in brackets):
•St. John’s, N.L., 1.1 (1.1)
•Charlottetown-Summerside, 1.2 (1.6)
•Halifax, 0.9 (1.0)
•Saint John, N.B., 0.3 (0.7)
•Quebec, 0.3 (0.9)
•Montreal 0.6 (1.2)
•Ottawa 0.4 (1.1)
•Toronto 0.3 (1.0)
•Thunder Bay, Ont., -0.4 (0.6)
•Winnipeg, 1.7 (1.7)
•Regina 1.6 (1.5)
•Saskatoon 1.5 (1.4)
•Edmonton 3.0 (3.8)
•Calgary 4.6 (5.7)
•Vancouver 2.6 (2.6)
•Victoria 1.7 (1.5)
Canada's core inflation, excluding food and energy, inched up to 2.1 percent on the year, from 2.0 percent in December.
I think we all know that the red-hot economy here is making everything more in demand and thusly more expensive. However I had no idea that the inflation rate in Calgary was as high as 6 or 7% month over month over the past year. My salary certainly hasn't been keeping up at that rate, and I doubt neither has it for another 70% of Calgarians. The group of people that are benefitting from the boom are certainly in the minority, and there lies a problem. Many people are finding it more difficult to remain in this city and maintain a steady standard of living. Quite sad for a city with such a a strong economy, but with all the advantages come just as many disadvantages, which we can all see quite visibly on the streets of our city. Now you see why the conversation of moving out of Calgary back to BC or Saskatchewan is becoming more commonplace?