Canada's inflation rate warms up to 1.7% in April
Vegetable prices up more than 11%, while energy got 3% cheaper
Canada's inflation rate rose to an annual rate of 1.7 per cent in April as higher prices for food and shelter contributed to a higher cost of living.
Statistics Canada said Friday that seven of the eight sectors of the economy the data agency monitors saw rising prices. The lone exception was clothing and footwear, which got cheaper during the month.
Fresh vegetable prices were up 11.7 per cent year-over-year in April and food from restaurants was up 2.7 per cent.
In the closely watched energy sector, prices in April were down 3.2 per cent compared with a year ago, but the drop was much smaller than the 7.8 per cent decline in March.
Gasoline in April was down 5.8 per cent compared with a year ago, while natural gas fell 12.8 per cent and fuel oil plunged 19.3 per cent. The moves compared with drops of 13.6 per cent, 17.4 per cent and 25.8 per cent respectively for March.
The 1.7 inflation figure was larger than the 1.3 per cent rate seen in March, but in line with what economists were expecting.
The inflation rate increased in every Canadian province except Alberta, where it stayed flat at 1.5 per cent.
TD Bank economist Leslie Preston saw little in the numbers to change her expectations of no change in monetary policy from the Bank of Canada. "The bottom line is that inflation in Canada remains benign," she said. "Core inflation is essentially on the Bank of Canada's target, and the slight uptick in April is unlikely to keep Poloz and company up at night."