February 28, 2018 / 1:55 PM / 8 months ago

Canada producer prices up in January as energy costs rise

OTTAWA (Reuters) - Canadian producer prices rose in January, lifted by higher prices for energy and petroleum products, data from Statistics Canada showed on Wednesday.

The 0.3-percent increase was short of economists’ forecasts for a gain of 0.5 percent. Of the 21 major commodity groups, prices were up in seven and down in 10, leaving four unchanged.

Prices for energy and petroleum products rose 3.4 percent, driven by more expensive motor gasoline, diesel fuel and light fuel oils. Excluding the energy and petroleum category, producer prices were down 0.1 percent.

The overall increase was also tempered by a 0.9-percent decline in the vehicles sector, due to lower prices for vehicle engines and parts, as well as aircraft and parts.

The appreciation of the Canadian dollar against the greenback in January also had an impact on the figures as some producer prices are reported in U.S. dollars. If the exchange rate had held constant, overall producer prices would have increased 1 percent, the statistics agency said.

The raw materials price index rose 3.3 percent due to higher prices for crude energy products, particularly conventional crude oil.

Reporting by Leah Schnurr; Editing by Nick Zieminski

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