Small measure of relief, but inflation still rose 7.6 per cent in July
Canadians still paid more for food, fuel, and travel, but at least the jump wasn’t as big as it was in June.
Statistics Canada released its Consumer Price Index report for July 2022 on Tuesday morning, which showed inflation rose 7.6 per cent last month. That’s down half a percentage point from June when it was 8.1 per cent.
Lower gas prices helped slow the rate of inflation. Without it, prices rose 6.6 per cent from a year ago after June’s 6.5 per cent increase.
While July marks the seventh consecutive month of inflationary increases, it was the smallest jump since December. However, wages, which rose 5.2 per cent from a year ago, still did not keep up with the higher cost of everyday items.
Canadians felt some relief at the gas pumps, where prices fell 9.2 per cent from June. Ontario drivers saw the most significant drop, 12.2 per cent after the Ford government temporarily cut gasoline taxes. However, uncertainty persists about the global economy, so compared to a year ago, gas prices are still up 35.6 per cent.
At the grocery store, prices continued to rise, up 9.9 per cent from a year ago, an increase of half a percentage point from June. Global wheat prices remain high because of Russian’s invasion of Ukraine, driving up bakery products by 13.6 per cent. Coffee and tea cost 13.8 per cent more, while fresh fruit rose 11.7 per cent.
After the Ontario Energy Board approved rate increases for natural gas on July 1, the price of natural gas in Ontario climbed 45.3 per cent from July 2021, the greatest jump in Canada.
Those just trying to get away from the stressors on their pocketbook at home found an increase in travel costs in July. Strong demand drove up airfares 25.5 per cent from last year, meals in restaurants increased 7.3 per cent, and accommodations cost 47.7 per cent more in most provinces. In Ontario, it rose 70 per cent more than in 2021.
Compared to other G7 nations, Canada’s inflation is in the middle of the pack. The U.S. reported an inflationary rate of 8.5 per cent in July. The United Kingdom will release its results soon, but June’s rate was 9.4 per cent.