The Canadian annual inflation rate in March edged up to 2.3 per cent from 2.2 per cent in February, the highest level in more than three years, in part due to costlier gasoline, Statistics Canada has said.
The annual rate—slightly less than the 2.4 per cent forecast by analysts in a Reuters poll—was the most elevated since the 2.4 per cent recorded in October 2014.
The Bank of Canada, which maintains a 2.0 per cent target for inflation, has raised interest rates three times since July 2017 amid a strengthening economy and near record low unemployment, and markets see an 80 per cent chance of an increase by this July, reports Reuters.
The main contributor to the higher annual inflation rate in March was a 17.1 per cent jump in gasoline prices. Seven of the eight major components increased on a year-over-year basis.
The Bank of Canada’s three measures of core inflation were little changed. CPI common, which the central bank says is the best gauge of the economy’s underperformance, remained at 1.9 per cent.
CPI median, which shows the median inflation rate across CPI components, stayed at 2.1 per cent, while CPI trim, which excludes upside and downside outliers, edged down to 2.0 per cent from 2.1 per cent.
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