Statistics Canada's latest report on the Consumer Price Index (CPI) indicates that while Alberta's inflation slowed, the province recorded the largest rent increases in the country.

"The CPI in Alberta decelerated year over year in April partly due to prices for electricity and natural gas. Partially offsetting this were higher prices for rent, which rose 16.2 per cent year over year in April, up from a 14.2 per cent increase in March."

The report added that rent in Alberta increased at a higher rate than it did at the national level (+8.2 per cent in April) for the eighth consecutive month, which Statistics Canada said coincides with strong demand from high net interprovincial migration to Alberta.

In its report earlier this month, stated that in April, 'Alberta led the top 25 markets for fastest-rising rents with seven cities making the list. Edmonton maintained its position as the leader for rent growth among Canada’s largest cities.'

"Asking rents for shared accommodations increased 9 per cent annually across the four provinces tracked for this type of rental, averaging $996 per month. In Alberta, roommate rents rose 11 per cent year-over-year to $879...Meanwhile, asking rents for shared accommodations rose 10 per cent annually in Calgary to an average of $908, and were up 8 per cent year-over-year in Edmonton to an average of $758."

Across the country, it was reported that the CPI rose 2.7 per cent on a year-over-year basis in April, down from a 2.9 per cent gain in March. However, it was also noted that year over year, prices rose at a slower pace in April compared with March in six provinces.

"Broad-based deceleration in the headline CPI was led by food prices, services and durable goods. The deceleration in the CPI was moderated by gasoline prices, which rose at a faster pace in April (+6.1 per cent) than in March (+4.5 per cent). Excluding gasoline, the all-items CPI slowed to a 2.5 per cent year-over-year increase, down from a 2.8 per cent gain in March."

On a monthly basis, the CPI rose 0.5 per cent in April, mainly driven by prices for gasoline.

"On a seasonally adjusted monthly basis, the CPI rose 0.2 per cent in April."

Food prices are still rising 

Statistics Canada said that while food prices are still increasing, the rate of increased has slowed year-over-year.

"... In April (+1.4 per cent) compared with March (+1.9 per cent). Meat contributed the most to slower price growth, largely due to a base-year effect in prices for fresh or frozen beef (+4.4 per cent) as a result of a monthly increase in April 2023 which fell out of the 12-month movement."

From April 2021 to April 2024, prices for food purchased from stores increased 21.4 per cent. Some foodstuffs such as 

Gas prices contribute to deceleration of CPI despite consumers paying more

"Consumers paid 6.1 per cent more at the pump year over year in April, following a 4.5 per cent increase in March. Faster growth was driven by a 7.9 per cent month-over-month increase in April."

Higher costs associated with switching to summer blends, higher oil prices due to supply concerns and an increase in the federal carbon levy all contributed to the increase in prices.

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