Canada’s annual inflation rate rose in November to its highest level since the start of the year, lifted by an increase in gasoline and food prices, data from Statistics Canada showed on Thursday.
The annual rate increased to 2.1 per cent last month from 1.4 per cent in October, topping economists’ forecasts for 2.0 per cent. It was the highest level since January and the first time inflation has hit the central bank’s 2 per cent target since February.
Underlying inflation also showed strength, with two out of three of the Bank of Canada’s core measures rising on an annual basis.
Overall, prices were up in seven of the eight main consumer price categories, led by a 5.9 per cent annual increase in the transportation component as gasoline prices accelerated. Higher costs for passenger vehicles also contributed to the strength.
Food prices were up 1.6 per cent as consumers paid more for meat and fresh vegetables. Stripping out the effect of gasoline and food, the inflation rate was 1.8 per cent.
Separately, Statscan said retail sales rose 1.5 per cent in October, driven higher by auto sales. Excluding sales at motor vehicle and parts dealers, sales were up 0.8 per cent for the month. The agency said sales rose in seven of 11 subsectors.