Higher Fuel, Housing Costs Drive up Inflation

Figures released Friday morning by Statistics Canada show the cost of living in Canada rose by 2.1% in the 12 months leading up to January, sharply higher than the pace in December.

The nation's number crunchers found the annual inflation rate rose from 1.5% in December. Economists had been expecting the January figure to come in at around 1.6%

The data agency cited two major added expenses for the increase: the cost of shelter and transportation.

The transportation index increased by 6.3% led by gas prices, which increased by more than 20% in the previous year — the biggest jump since September 2011. Costs for shelter rose 2.4%.

Of the eight economic areas StatsCan tracks, only one got cheaper: consumers paid 2.1% less for food in January than they did a year earlier, the fourth straight monthly decline.