As energy prices continued to decline in December, the cost of industrial products and raw materials eased too, according to new data from Statistics Canada.
The national statistical agency reported that the Industrial Product Price Index (IPPI) declined 1.1% month over month in December, as prices for energy and petroleum products fell for the second straight month (down by 9.8%).
Lower gas and diesel prices led the decline in the energy component as global oil prices dropped.
Crude oil prices “fell partially on macroeconomic concerns” and due to global production outpacing demand, StatsCan said.
The pullback in energy prices also drove a 3.1% monthly decline in StatsCan’s Raw Materials Price Index (RMPI), the agency reported.
Excluding crude energy products, the RMPI increased by 1.5%.
Alongside the decline in energy prices, the gloomier macroeconomic outlook and weaker demand weighed on other sectors.
Lumber prices were down for the fifth straight month, StatsCan reported — they’ve dropped by a record 40.2% on a year-over-year basis.
“The decline was mainly due to a slowing residential housing market in the U.S., which coincided with rising interest rates,” StatsCan said.
Metals prices also saw a record annual decline, falling 16.2% year over year, after another 2.1% drop in December.
StatsCan said that lower prices for steel and iron were the primary drivers in this category.
“Steel prices continued to decline in December on weakening global demand and Covid-19 lockdowns in China,” it said.
Additionally, intermediate food product prices were down 2.9% month over month in December due to weaker grain and oilseed product prices.