OTTAWA (CP) -- The Industrial Product Price Index increased 0.3 percent in May, mainly as a result of the weakening of the Canadian dollar against its U.S. counterpart.
The Raw Materials Price Index declined 7.2 percent, due primarily to lower crude oil prices.
Statistics Canada reports a 3.4 percent depreciation of the Canadian dollar had a big influence on the industrial advance in May.
Prices of motor vehicles and other transportation equipment, which are particularly influenced by the exchange rate, were up 2.3 percent, the largest monthly increase since October 2008 (8.2).
The agency says pulp-and-paper products are also sensitive to exchange rate movements, and their prices rose 2.7 percent in May, the largest monthly increase since October 2008 (5.3).
The increase in industrial product prices was dampened mainly by lower prices of primary metal products (down 2.9 percent) and petroleum and coal products (down 2.3).
The industrial index was up 1.4 percent in May compared with the same month a year earlier.
StatsCan says the sharp drop in the raw materials index was the largest since a 15.3 percent slide in December 2008 and was mainly due to a 12.7 percent fall in prices for mineral fuels, particularly crude oil (down 14.2).
A 6.1 percent drop in prices of non-ferrous metals also contributed to the decline.
From May 2009 to May 2010, raw materials prices rose 6.4 percent.