‘Knife Life gets more expensive

This Friday’s report from the NWT Bureau of Statistics shows Yellowknife’s Consumer Price Index has kept pace with the rest of Canada, growing by 1.9 per cent over the past 12 months.

But compared to Whitehorse, where the CPI went up by just .7 per cent, Yellowknife is a more expensive place to live.

As of November, the CPI in Yellowknife was 129, an increase of 3.6 points over a year previous, compared to Whitehorse which edged up .9 to 123.9.

The experience in Yellowknife more closely mimics Edmonton, where the CPI moved by 2.6 points to 131.9 from 129.3 than the rest of Canada, which saw the price index rise to 124.4 from 123.

Across Canada, Calgary clocked the highest CPI for November at 132.6 – well ahead of Toronto, 126.9; Montreal, 123.8; Vancouver, 120.5. Victoria was the lowest at 117.4.

Housing costs are the most significant difference between Yellowknife and Whitehorse.

A check with Kijiji listings showed just three one-bedoom apartments available in Yellowknife – all priced at $1,399. Whitehorse had 27 listings, one at $750, a cluster in the $875  to $1,000 range, and another at $1200.

Housing and shelter accounted for 27.9 per cent of what Yellowknifers paid to live in the city last year, followed by transportation, 18.3 per cent; food, 18 per cent; and household operation, 10 per cent.

Consumer prices increased for most major components in Yellowknife with the exception of clothing and footwear, recreation, education and reading. Contributing to the increase was a 3.8 per cent increase in food and a 4.6 increase in energy, the report said.

The price of energy includes fuel oil and electricity. The majority of the increase from November 2013 to November 2014 occurred during the winter heating season.

“Recently, prices have been more stable,” the report said. “Over the last month, the increase in fuel oil and other fuels was mostly offset by a decline in the price of gasoline.”

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