Canada: Inflation edges higher in February
Consumer prices increased a seasonally-adjusted 0.3% from a month earlier in February, contrasting January’s 0.1% decline. According to Statistics Canada, the rise was mostly driven by an uptick in food, transportation and health and personal care prices.
Inflation inched up to 1.5% in February, from 1.4% in January. The reading beat analysts’ expectations of 1.4% but remained below the midpoint of the Central Bank’s target range of 1.0% to 3.0%. Meanwhile, annual average inflation was stable at January’s 2.2%. Core inflation, which excludes volatile items including fuels and fresh produce, increased to 2.0% in February from 1.9% the previous month.
Commenting on February’s inflation report, James Marple, senior economist at TD Economics, noted:
“Its [core inflation] relative stability suggests little need for a change in policy in either direction. If anything, the slight move down in the CPI-common measure reinforces the view that the Bank of Canada is likely to remain on hold (perhaps) indefinitely.”