Canada's inflation rate soars to highest since 1983

7.7% spike much hotter than economists expected

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OTTAWA – Statistics Canada says the annual inflation rate skyrocketed to its highest level in nearly 40 years in May, fueled by soaring gas prices.

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The agency says its consumer price index in May rose 7.7 per cent compared to a year ago, its largest increase since January 1983 when it gained 8.2 per cent and up from a 6.8 per cent increase in April this year.

The gain came as energy prices rose 34.8 per cent compared to a year ago with gasoline prices up 48.0 per cent compared to a year ago. Excluding gasoline, the annual inflation rate May rose to 6.3 per cent compared to 5.8 per cent in April.

Food costs were also up as the cost of food purchased at stores rose 9.7 per cent compared with a year ago, matching the April increase, with prices for nearly everything in the grocery cart going higher.

The cost of services in May rose 5.2 per cent compared to a year ago, up from a gain of 4.6 per cent in April, as Canadians traveled and ate in restaurants more often.

Prices for traveler accommodation gained 40.2 per cent compared to a year ago, while the price of food purchased from restaurants gained 6.8 per cent.

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