Fuel Prices Drive Inflation Up in December

Higher costs at the gasoline pumps drove the cost of living up last month, according to figures released Friday morning by Statistics Canada.

The consumer price index increased by 1.5% in December, as slightly more expensive fuel prices helped offset slightly cheaper food prices.

StatsCan reported Friday that seven of the eight components it tracks were more expensive in December compared to November. The transportation index, which includes gas, and the shelter index, which includes rental costs, were the biggest contributors to the upswing.

The agency also says the food index proved the lone laggard, declining for the third consecutive month, as consumers paid 1.3% less for food in December than they did in the same month a year ago.