New data from Statistics Canada shows that non-farm payroll employees saw their average weekly wages increase by 2.3% in December compared to a year earlier. The consumer price index gained 1.9% over the same period.

The average weekly wage of $993 was little changed from November while average hours worked remained at 33.0.

Quebec saw the largest annual gain (3.9% to $922) and 8 provinces posted increases while Newfoundland and Labrador and Nova Scotia were essentially flat.

In Alberta, wages gained just 1.2% year-over-year in December to $1,149, while the CPI was up 2%, squeezing household budgets especially as interest rates gained.

Inflation eased slightly in January, rising 1.7% on an annual basis from the 1.9% in December.

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