Canada: Inflation eases to the lowest level since May 2015 in March
Consumer prices decreased 0.9% from a month earlier on a seasonally-adjusted basis in March, contrasting the 0.1% uptick in February. According to Statistics Canada, plunging transportation prices and lower shelter costs drove the largest month-on-month decline in the series’ 28-year history.
Inflation eased to 0.9% in March on a sharp fall in gasoline prices (February: 2.2%). The reading was lower than market analysts’ expectations of 1.2% and fell below the Central Bank’s 1.0%–3.0% target range. Meanwhile, annual average inflation ticked down to 2.0% in March from 2.1% the month prior.
Commenting on March’s print, James Marple, senior economist at TD Economics, noted:
“Inflation is the least of anyone’s concerns at the moment, but it is notable that the mandated closure of large swathes of the economy in late March is having a profound effect on price growth. This is yet another data series showing unprecedented movements and which will continue to do so at least through the month of April.”