B.C.’s 2% inflation outpaces all other big provinces in August

Amazon's acquisition of Whole Foods could impact recent gains in food prices after almost a year of deflation, according to one economist | Shutterstock

B.C. was the only big province to hit the Bank of Canada’s target inflation rate in August, according to Statistics Canada.

The national inflation rate edged up slightly year-over-year to 1.4%, while consumer prices in B.C. rose to 2% during that same period.

A month earlier, national inflation registered at 1.4% and B.C. inflation registered at 1.8%.

“The smallest province — PEI [Prince Edward Island] — is actually leading all others with an inflation rate of 2.3% [year-over-year] but with no material effect on the national totals,” economist Derek Holt, Scotiabank's head of Capital Market Economics, said in a note to investors.

Gas prices led the way in gains on the consumer price index, rising 8.6% year-over-year and 2.9% between July and August.

Grocery prices made slight gains after almost a year of deflation, with prices rising 0.3% year-over-year.

“We’ll see how the Amazon-led grocery price war plays out here,” BMO senior economist Robert Kavcic said in a note to investors, referring to Amazon’s (Nasdaq: AMZN) recent acquisition of Whole Foods that result in price cuts to various products.

torton@biv.com

@reporton

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