British Columbians experienced the highest increase in the consumer price index in the country, according to new information from Statistics Canada.
Whereas the national CPI rose by two per cent in April 2019 year-to-date, British Columbians saw prices rise 2.7 per cent, the highest rate in Canada. April 2019 marked the seventh consecutive month B.C. led Canada with the highest CPI.
One reason for the increase concerns the cost of energy. While prices for energy as a whole rose 0.7 per cent in April, gasoline prices by themselves rose 10 per cent compared with the previous month, as refineries switched to summer-blend fuels, global oil prices continued to rise due to production cuts, and carbon levies appeared or rose in six provinces, including British Columbia.
In fact, critics of carbon levies may note that those six provinces experienced the largest month-over-month increases in gasoline prices.
Not surprisingly, Canadians also paid more for transportation. Air transportation prices (up 6.6 per cent) continued to rise on a year-over-year basis, amid jet groundings and increased April holiday travel.
Food prices also rose, with Canadians paying 2.9 per cent more for food in April compared with the same month last year. Notably, this figure marked a drop of 3.6 per cent drop from March 2019. Fresh beef, vegetables and fruit generally drop in price as summer approaches.