Consumer prices are up but below expectation

by Steve Randall23 Apr 2018

There was an expected rise in inflation in March but not by as much as economists were predicting.

Statistics Canada says that its consumer price index was up 2.3% year-over-year, slightly below the 2.4% consensus forecast, but increasing from the 2.2% rate in February.

The 2.4% rate was the largest annual rise for the index since 2014 but was driven by higher costs of gasoline. Without that element, the CPI was up 1.8%.

Although the rise in food costs was lower than in the previous month the only one of the major components of the CPI to post a decline was clothing and footwear.

“After some excitement at the move higher in inflation in February, price pressures appear to have settled down a touch in March,” said James Marple, senior economist at TD Economics.

“With the Bank of Canada upgrading its outlook for inflation and noting temporary factors as the reason for near-term strength, there is a high bar for inflation to jump over to get the central bank to move faster on raising interest rates. Still, one more hike is likely on tap this year, consistent with the improved outlook for future economic growth, both globally and domestically,” he added.

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