OTTAWA (Reuters) - Higher fuel prices and a weaker Canadian dollar helped lift Canadian producer prices by more than expected in February, Statistics Canada data indicated on Tuesday.
Manufacturers’ prices rose 1 percent from January, and 1.8 percent from February last year, versus economists’ expectations in a Reuters survey of 0.8 percent and 2 percent gains respectively.
Energy and petroleum product prices jumped 2.4 percent in February, led by a 2.5 percent rise in gasoline and a 4.1 percent increase in diesel fuel. Excluding energy, the producer price index rose 0.8 percent.
Sixteen of the 21 major commodity groups registered price gains in February.
Because some producers who export their products report their price in U.S. dollars, the 1 percent depreciation of the Canadian dollar versus the greenback in February had the effect of boosting prices in Canadian dollars. Without the exchange rate effect, prices would have risen 0.8 percent, Statscan said.
Raw materials prices also rose more sharply than forecast, up 5.7 percent in February for the biggest gain since June 2009 due to a big jump in crude oil prices. Raw materials prices rose 3.9 percent on the year.
Analysts had expected raw material prices to rise 2.8 percent in February and to fall 0.3 percent from a year earlier.
Reporting by Louise Egan and Alex Paterson; Editing by Alden Bentley