The Consumer Price Index (CPI) rose 2.2% year over year in Quebec in March, the same level as Canada and Ontario.
This is the start of the pandemic, in March 2020, marked by a significant drop in prices which explains this increase, 12 months later, put Statistics Canada in context on Wednesday.
Last February, the CPI rose 1.6% year-over-year in Quebec and 1.1% in Canada and Ontario.
“As Canada marked the end of the first year of the COVID-19 pandemic, price growth in March 2021 was accentuated by what is known as the year-on-year effect, which can be traced back to to March 2020. The widespread decline in prices observed in the spring of 2020, when the published CPI growth slowed to 0.9% in March 2020, had an upward effect on price inflation consumption in March 2021, ”the federal agency said.
According to her, “this temporary year-on-year effect will have an upward impact on the 12-month variation.”
Between February and March, the CPI also rose 0.5% in Canada.
Since the low observed at the start of the pandemic, consumer confidence has recovered and the labor market has also improved, according to Statistics Canada, although there are still sectors heavily impacted by COVID- 19.
The prices of five of the eight major components increased year over year in March. It was the prices of transport (+ 7.1%) and housing (+ 2.4%) that contributed the most to the rise in the CPI, it was reported.
“Gasoline prices were the biggest contributor to the increase in energy prices for consumers, and they were up 35.3% year over year in March; this is the largest increase in gasoline prices since March 2000, “said Statistics Canada, adding that” the increase in prices was mainly due to the growth in global demand for oil and the continued restrictions. production imposed by OPEC + ”.
However, Canadians spent less in March on clothing (-5.4%) and on current expenses, household furnishings and equipment (-0.2%).
The CPI jumped the most in Prince Edward Island, to 3.3%, last March, ahead of Nova Scotia (2.8%), Newfoundland and Labrador (2.7%) and Saskatchewan (2.4%).
“Even if inflation remains under control, the risks of accelerating inflationary pressures are higher. The Bank of Canada will have to monitor the situation closely in the coming months, ”wrote Desjardins senior economist Benoit P. Durocher in a note.