BUSINESS
03/29/2012 08:44 EDT | Updated 05/29/2012 05:12 EDT

Statistics Canada reports industrial index up, raw materials down in February

OTTAWA - Higher prices for petroleum and coal products and primary metals pushed the Industrial Product Price Index up slightly in February, while a drop in the price of mineral fuels caused the Raw Materials Price Index to decline.

Statistics Canada reports the industrial index rose 0.2 per cent, while raw materials fell 0.5 per cent.

The agency reports the prices of petroleum and coal products rose 1.8 per cent, while primary metal products rose 1.9 per cent.

Gasoline prices rose 3.9 per cent, which contributed most to the increase in petroleum and coal products.

Prices were up 2.6 per cent for copper and copper alloy products and 0.9 per cent for aluminum products.

Copper prices were supported by reduced world supply as a result of labour disputes and poor weather that affected the normal course of production at some mines, particularly in South America.

February's decrease in the raw materials index was mainly due to a 2.4 per cent drop in the price of crude petroleum, the third straight month it has fallen.

The raw materials index's decline was offset by higher prices for non-ferrous metals and vegetable products.