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Consumer price hikes slow down

Consumer prices rose 2.9 per cent for the 12 months to October, driven by higher prices for gasoline and food, Statistics Canada says.

Consumer prices rose 2.9 per cent for the 12 months to October, driven by higher prices for gasoline and food, Statistics Canada said Friday.

October's change in the consumer price index followed a 3.2 per cent increase in September.

"On a year-over-year basis, inflation is starting to come down as a spike in energy and food costs last year starts to roll off," Scotiabank economists Derek Holt and Karen Cordes Woods said.

On a year-over-year basis, gasoline prices rose 18.2 per cent in October, after advancing 22.7 per cent in September, Statistics Canada said Friday. (Richard Buchan/Canadian Press)

The closely watched Bank of Canada core index rose 2.1 per cent for the year to October, following a 2.2 per cent gain in September. The core index strips out volatile food and energy prices, and is the baseline the Bank of Canada pays closer attention to in making its interest rate decisions.

On a year-over-year basis, gasoline prices rose 18.2 per cent, after advancing 22.7 per cent in September.

Food prices showed a 4.3 per cent one-year increase, matching the gain posted in September. Statistics Canada said consumers paid more at grocery stores for common staples, including meat, bread, fresh vegetables and dairy products.

The October 12-month inflation reading, while down from the September report, was relatively on par with what economists had been projecting. Forecasts for the October inflation reading ranged from 2.8 to 2.9 per cent.

Regionally, Albertans saw the largest increase in prices in October with a one per cent rise compared to last month. Quebec, B.C., Manitoba, Nova Scotia, P.E.I. and Saskatchewan all registering only mild gains.

Ontario, New Brunswick, and Newfoundland and Labrador all registered monthly declines in prices.

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