OTTAWA: Canadians paid 2.0 percent more in February for goods and services than a year earlier, the government statistical agency announced Friday.

The inflation rate year-over-year was a tick lower than the 2.1 percent forecast by analysts after rising in January to 2.1 percent. On a seasonally adjusted monthly basis, the consumer price index declined 0.2 percent -- in line with expectations.

According to Statistics Canada, purchasing a car or truck cost almost four percent more in February than 12 months earlier, while gasoline prices jumped more than 23 percent.

Hotels charged a bit more for rooms, as tourists flocked to major sporting events. Canadians had access, however, to less expensive cheese and fresh vegetables. The latter was down 14 percent after a spike last winter.

The cost of telephone services also edged down, but this was offset by slightly higher internet access prices.