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

High death rate at Abbotsford Regional Hospital

Abbotsford has the worst-performing large hospital in B.C. on key safety measure

VIDEO: Fence saves driver from 50-ft plummet after crash in Abbotsford

Young man walks away uninjured after crash leaves him dangling over steep rock embankment

VIDEO: Look back at the 1977 Abbotsford International Airshow

New images from the 1977 show have recently surfaced online

UPDATED: Mission man dies at CP Rail yard in Coquitlam

Kirk Charles McLean had been working as a locomotive engineer and had 32 years of experience

Identity confirmed of body found in torched vehicle in Abbotsford

Sukhdev Dhaliwal, 48, had rented the Chevy Tahoe before his death last month

VIDEO: Octopus, bald eagle battle after bird ‘bites off more than it can chew’ in B.C. waters

B.C. crew films fight between the two feisty animals in Quatsino off north Vancouver Island

Raptors fans show Kawhi the love in his return to Toronto

Leonard receives championship ring, leads new club to win

Process to identify those killed in Gabriola plane crash could take days

Canadian flight museum suggests Alex Bahlsen of Mill Bay died in Tuesday’s crash

Snowfall warning issued for Coquihalla Highway

Up to 25 cm of snow is expected to fall in the region by Thursday

‘Honest mistake:’ RCMP says B.C. cannabis shop can keep image of infamous Mountie

Sam Steele wearing military, not RCMP uniform in image depicted in Jimmy’s Cannabis window

B.C. conservation officers put down fawn blinded by pellet gun on Vancouver Island

Young deer found near construction site in Hammond Bay area in Nanaimo, B.C.

Laid-off forest workers converge on B.C. legislature

Loggers call for action on strike, provincial stumpage

B.C. guide fined $2K in first conviction under new federal whale protection laws

Scott Babcock found guilty of approaching a North Pacific humpback whale at less than 100 metres

Feds urge Air Canada to fix booking problems as travel season approaches

The airline introduced the new reservation system more than three weeks ago

Most Read