Yellowknife price index sees biggest leap in a decade

Yellowknifers just experienced the largest annual increase in the cost of many items for more than a decade, the NWT Bureau of Statistics reports.

The consumer price index measures price changes over time across Canadian cities. The index rose 4.8 percent in Yellowknife between September 2020 and 2021, the bureau reported on Wednesday.

That’s the largest annual increase since a five-percent hike reported between 2007 and 2008 as the global financial crisis bit.


Nationwide, prices increased 4.4 percent year-on-year. The increase was 3.7 percent in Edmonton, 2.6 percent in Iqaluit, and 4.9 percent in Whitehorse.

Increases in the cost of living in Yellowknife were primarily driven by the price of gas (up 28 percent), fuel oil and other fuels (up 35 percent), and the higher cost of air travel.

The cost of recreational activities rose 6.5 percent year-on-year. Footwear was up 17 percent. Combined, Yellowknifers are paying 13 percent more than they were a year ago for water, fuel, and electricity.

Overall, the cost of shelter rose 2.6 percent compared to September 2020. Food costs were up 2.5 percent. Many prices are rising in large part because of a global supply-chain crisis affecting the cost of moving some goods and availability of others.


However, there is some nuance to the scale of the increase.

“The 4.8-percent annual increase in the Yellowknife consumer price index is in part a result of lower-than-usual overall prices last summer,” the NWT Bureau of Statistics stated on Wednesday.

“A sharp decline in prices early last year resulted in lower prices during the spring and summer of 2020. Since September 2020, monthly consumer prices in Yellowknife have been trending upward.”

Nationally, the inflation rate of 4.4 percent was reportedly Canada’s highest since February 2003.