Signage mark the Statistics Canada offices in Ottawa on July 21, 2010. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick

Annual inflation rises to 2.4% thanks to higher costs for gas, airline tickets

Year-over-year prices at the pump were 12 per cent higher in October, air transportation prices were up 9.4 per cent and mortgage interest costs climbed seven per cent, the report said.

The country’s annual inflation rate picked up its pace last month to hit 2.4 per cent in an advance mostly fuelled by higher gasoline prices, compared to a year ago, Statistics Canada said Friday.

The federal agency’s October inflation number marked an increase from 2.2 per cent in September and pushed the reading a little farther away from the Bank of Canada’s ideal, two per cent target.

Economists had expected October inflation to be 2.2 per cent, according to a poll by Thomson Reuters Eikon.

Year-over-year prices at the pump were 12 per cent higher in October, air transportation prices were up 9.4 per cent and mortgage interest costs climbed seven per cent, the report said.

The downward pressure month was led by prices declines of 7.2 per cent for video equipment, four per cent for telephone services and 3.9 per cent for traveller accommodation, compared to a year earlier.

Prices were higher last month in all provinces compared to October 2017, but Alberta was the only one to show a slower pace of inflation. A year earlier Alberta’s inflation rate was three per cent, while last month the pace was 2.8 per cent.

Read more: Annual pace of inflation slows to 2.2 per cent in September: Statistics Canada

In Ontario, Statistics Canada said energy prices slid 2.4 per cent on a month-to-month basis after the provincial government got rid of its carbon cap and trade program, which had been introduced last January.

The average of the agency’s three core inflation readings, which omit more-volatile items like gas prices, edged slightly higher to two per cent last month to hit the Bank of Canada’s bull’s-eye. The average core, or underlying, measure was 1.93 per cent in September, 2.03 per cent in August and 1.97 per cent in July.

The central bank pays close attention to core inflation ahead of its interest-rate decisions — and it can raise its trend-setting rate as a way to keep inflation from rising too high. It aims to keep inflation within a range of one to three per cent, with the two per cent mid-point as its primary target.

Bank of Canada governor Stephen Poloz’s next interest-rate announcement is scheduled for Dec. 5.

In a separate report Friday, Statistics Canada said retail sales for September moved up 0.2 per cent compared with August. Month-to-month retail trade was essentially unchanged in August and saw an increase of 0.2 per cent in July.

The September increase brought retail trade to $50.9 billion for the month.

The main contributor behind the increase were higher sales, of 0.9 per cent, at food and beverage stores. Supermarkets saw sales rise 1.7 per cent, which more than made up for a 1.7 per cent decline in beer, wine and liquor stores.

Sales also rose at general merchandise stores by 1.2 per cent, while motor vehicle and parts dealers saw an increase of 0.5 per cent.

Read more: B.C. rent increases capped to inflation, 2.5% for 2019

Andy Blatchford, The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Nanaimo Ladysmith education support workers reach tentative three-year deal

Union membership to vote on collective agreement on July 31

Island pickleball players perfectly prepared

Top-notch action at Fuller Lake Park in singles, doubles and mixed doubles

Dormant Chemainus Foods building soon to be revived

Market expected to bring new life to the downtown core

Ladysmith Arts Council leads effort to establish Vancouver Island as an arts powerhouse

Terry O’Reilly will be the keynote speaker during an interactive live webcast on August 8 at 6pm

Oyster Bay Microtel solidifies reputation as a Vancouver Island destination

The Microtel is focused on continuing to build their reputation over the summer

VIDEO: B.C. MLA Michelle Stilwell takes first steps in nearly 30 years

‘It actually felt like walking. It’s been 27 years… but it felt realistic to me’

Report of dead body in B.C. park actually headless sex doll

This discovery, made at Manning Park on July 10, led police to uncovering two other sex mannequins

Grand Forks fire chief found to have bullied, harassed volunteer firefighter: report

WorkSafeBC, third-party human resources investigation looking into allegations complete

Dog recovering after being drenched in hot coffee, B.C. man charged

Man was taken into custody, charged, and released pending a court date

Taekwondo instructor, 21, identified as B.C. bat rabies victim

Nick Major, 21, an instructor at Cascadia Martial Arts in Parksville

Science expedition to Canada’s largest underwater volcano departs Vancouver Island

Crews prepared for a two-week research mission to the Explorer Seamount

B.C. shipyard to get one-third of $1.5 billion frigate-repair contract

The federal government has promised to invest $7.5 billion to maintain the 12 frigates

15-year-old with imitation gun caused ‘dynamic’ scene at Nanaimo mall

No one was harmed in Monday’s incident, say Nanaimo RCMP

Worried about bats? Here’s what to do if you come across one in B.C.

Bat expert with the BC Community Bat Program urges caution around the small creatures

Most Read