Canada’s annual inflation rate increased to 1.6 per cent last month, mainly due to the climbing prices for fresh fruits and vegetables.
The December inflation result in the latest consumer price index from Statistics Canada followed a 1.4 per cent year-over-year increase in November.
On top of higher produce prices compared to a year earlier, the agency says Canadians were also paying considerably more for home and mortgage insurance, automobiles and electricity.
The report says lower prices for gasoline, natural gas and fuel oil applied downward pressure on inflation, but were not enough to offset the rising prices of food.
The core inflation rate, which excludes some volatile items such as gasoline, was up 1.9 per cent last month, slipping below the two per cent mark for the first time since July 2014.
According to the agency’s year-end review for 2015, the country’s annual average increase in inflation was 1.1 per cent.
Stats Canada also reported an increase in retail sales in November at 1.7 per cent compared to the previous month. Black Friday sales and a boost in new car sales were credited for pushing the total figure up to $44.3-billion.