Statistics Canada building and signs are pictured in Ottawa on Wednesday, July 3, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick

Canadian annual inflation rate 1.9% last month as lower gas prices weigh on rate

Canadians did, however, pay more for mortgage interest costs

The annual inflation rate was 1.9 per cent in September for a second-straight month, keeping the indicator close to the Bank of Canada’s ideal two per cent target.

The new numbers released Wednesday in Statistics Canada’s latest consumer price index report show that price growth was once again held back by lower gas prices.

Inflation has now stayed at 1.9 per cent or higher for seven consecutive months.

Economists on average had expected a reading of 2.1 per cent for September, according to financial markets data firm Refinitiv.

The country’s price picture, on its own, is not applying pressure on the inflation-targeting Bank of Canada to adjust interest rates. The central bank’s next rate announcement is scheduled for Oct. 30.

Statistics Canada said a 10 per cent drop in gasoline prices compared with last year continued to weigh on the overall inflation rate. Gas prices, year-over-year, were down 10.2 per cent in August and 6.9 per cent in July.

Excluding pump prices, the inflation reading for September was 2.4 per cent for a third-straight month.

READ MORE: Canadian inflation decelerates to 1.9% as gas prices weaken

Upward momentum in price growth was also held back in September by lower costs, year-over-year, for internet access services, tuition fees and telephone services.

Canadians did, however, pay more for mortgage interest costs, vehicle insurance and auto purchases last month compared to the previous year.

Shoppers shelled out 3.4 per cent more for passenger vehicles last month than they did a year earlier as price growth in the category exceeded 2.5 per cent for a seventh-straight month, the report said. Statistics Canada called it the “strongest continuous stretch of growth” in the category since early 2017.

Year-over-year mortgage interest costs have increased through 2019 and were up another 7.5 per cent in September. The report said the growth has followed a series of interest rate hikes by the Bank of Canada between July 2017 and October 2018.

In terms of downward forces, the report said tuition fees decreased 3.6 per cent last month for the category’s first year-over-year decline since its creation in 1973. The drop was driven by an 8.9 per cent decrease in Ontario, where the provincial government cut tuition for the 2019-20 academic year.

The average of Canada’s three measures for core inflation, which are considered better gauges of underlying price pressures by omitting volatile items like gasoline, moved up slightly to 2.1 per cent last month from two per cent in August. The core readings are closely monitored by the Bank of Canada.

Andy Blatchford, The Canadian Press


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Kootenay-Columbia MP urges end to ‘illegal roadblocks’ in solidarity with pipeline dispute

Rob Morrison says protestors across Canada need to remove roadblocks on roads, rail lines

Kimberley Fire Department urges residents to install carbon monoxide alarms

The Kimberley Fire Department has been issuing warnings on social media about… Continue reading

Steam room at Kimberley Aquatic Centre reopens

Room was closed for months for repair

Our Home video: a prophetic snapshot of Kimberley in 1984

Video narrated by Councillor McBain highlights the importance of transition from mining to tourism

Victoria’s Carmanah performs for Fisher Peak concert series

The Fisher Peak Winter Ale Concert Series presented an intimate night of… Continue reading

VIDEO: B.C. senior recalls ‘crazy’ wartime decision to grab bear cub from den

Henry Martens – now 96 – says he was lucky to be alive after youthful decision to enter a bear’s den

Cheapest in B.C.: Penticton gas prices dip below $1 per litre

Two stores in Penticton have gas below a dollar.

Loans or gifts? Judge rules woman must pay B.C. man back $7K

B.C. judge rules that woman must pay back more than $7,000 in advanced funds to man

VIDEO: Outpouring of worldwide support for bullied Australian boy

Australian actor Hugh Jackman said ‘you are stronger than you know, mate’

‘A horror show:’ Ex-employee shares experience at problematic Chilliwack seniors’ home

Workers are paid below industry standard at all Retirement Concepts facilities

Forest industry protests northern B.C. caribou protection deal

B.C. Mining Association supports federal-Indigenous plan

Youth-led report calls on B.C. government to create plan to end youth homelessness

There are no dedicated programs for youth homelessness at federal, provincial level, report says

Trudeau: Time for blockades to end and Indigenous leaders to work with government

Prime minister says situation in Coastal GasLink pipeline dispute is ‘unacceptable and untenable’

Regional District of East Kootenay draft 5-year financial plan open for review

The public comment period is open until noon on March 2

Most Read