2022 consumer prices—the highest in 40 years: StatCan

Very high transportation, food, shelter costs plagued residents especially in first six months 

By Charmaine Y. Rodriguez

As expected, the year 2022 was an expensive one for those living in Canada.

Statistics Canada, in a news release Tuesday, said the Consumer Price Index (CPI) rose 6.8% on an annual average basis in 2022—a 40-year high or the largest increase since 1982. 

In 2021, the average CPI was only 3.4% so it practically doubled last year due to the prices of day-today basics like transportation, food and shelter. 

Although the high price increases happened mostly during the first half of 2022, StatCan said there was a decreasing trend in the second half and this may continue to 2023.

The Consumer Price Index (CPI) is an indicator of changes in consumer prices experienced by Canadians. It is obtained by comparing, over time, the cost of a fixed basket of goods and services purchased by consumers, according to StatCan.

It is one of the ways to determine inflation. 

The report said both goods and services prices rose at a faster pace compared with a year earlier.

Prices for goods went up 8.7% while prices for services increased 5%.

For food items, which had the fastest price increase since 1981, dairy products increased 8.6%, other food preparations (+10.1%), fresh fruit (+10.4%), fresh vegetables (+8.3%), cereal products (+13.6%), and processed meat (+9.6%).

The supply of food was impacted by multiple factors, including extreme weather, higher input costs and supply chain disruptions. Russia’s invasion of Ukraine created supply uncertainty in the global wheat market, putting upward pressure on prices for bakery products (+11.5%). Both countries are among the top 10 producers of wheat globally, the report added. 

But it was the higher energy prices (+22.5%) that contributed to the annual average headline inflation in 2022.

Consumers paid 28.5% more for gasoline on an annual average basis. Crude oil prices rose as a result of supply uncertainty amid Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and higher demand in response to the easing of COVID-19 restrictions, pushing prices at the pump higher.

Prices for fuel oil and other fuels rose 59.6% on an annual average basis, following a 24.4% gain in 2021. Atlantic Canadians were most impacted by this increase, as fuel oil is more commonly used for heating homes in the region. 

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