Canada’s consumer price index rose by more than half a per cent in July, reaching 3.7 per cent on a year-over-year basis, according to Statistics Canada.

Canadians saw the cost of shelter rise faster than any other spending category outside of gasoline, with real estate prices rising 13.4 per cent year-over-year. Inflation hit new home buyers particularly hard, jumping up a record 13.8 per cent over the previous July.

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Gasoline prices also soared by 30.9 per cent due to the continued lull in oil production, though the price increase was shy of the 32 per cent figure reported in June. While dramatic, these figures are more reflective of the low cost of gasoline during the spring and summer of 2020 than the commodity’s high price in the middle of 2021, said StatsCan.

Food prices increased by just 1.7 per cent, though the relief will be felt most by vegans. Vegetable prices dipped by 7.5 per cent, while the price of meat and dairy rose by 3.1 and 3.5 per cent, respectively. Overall, restaurant dining prices rose by 4.5 per cent while food bought in stores rose by 11.74 per cent.

Statistics Canada also reported that goods prices, up from 4.5 per cent in June to five per cent in July, was led by a 5.5 per cent rise in vehicle prices. The government agency linked this increase to a worldwide shortage of semiconductor chips.

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On the other hand, alcohol, tobacco and cannabis saw relatively minor price rises during the month. According to Statistics Canada, this purchase category saw its prices rise by 3.7 per cent, up 0.6 per cent from the previous month.

In the U.S., inflationary pressure drove prices up by a more significant margin, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The agency reported a 0.5 per cent increase in year-over-year inflation, bringing inflation on its all item index up to 5.4 per cent.

This increase was driven by a 41 per cent increase in gas prices and in used cars and trucks. If food and gasoline prices were excluded from the equation, the CPI would have been just 4.3 per cent.

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