Canadian annual inflation rose by two per cent in July to hit the Bank of Canada’s ideal target for a second straight month. The latest consumer price index found higher costs, year-over-year, for auto insurance, mortgage interest and fresh vegetables. A real estate sold sign hangs in front of a west-end Toronto property Friday, Nov. 4, 2016. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graeme Roy

Inflation hits Bank of Canada 2% target for second straight month

Prices showed strength in other areas, including an 18.9 per cent increase in the cost of fresh vegetables

Canadian annual inflation came in at two per cent in July to hit the Bank of Canada’s ideal target for a second straight month.

Compared with a year earlier, consumers paid less last month for gasoline, internet services and traveller accommodation, Statistics Canada said Wednesday.

Prices showed strength in other areas, including an 18.9 per cent increase in the cost of fresh vegetables compared to the previous year. The consumer price index also found higher costs, year-over-year, for auto insurance, mortgage interest and passenger vehicles.

The average of Canada’s three gauges for core inflation, which are considered better measures of underlying price pressures by excluding volatile items, was also close to the central bank’s target at 2.03 per cent. It was up slightly from a revised reading of two per cent in June.

On their own, the headline and core numbers don’t put immediate pressure on the inflation-targeting Bank of Canada to adjust interest rates. The central bank can move the interest rate as a tool to try and promote or cool off inflation.

READ MORE: Lower gas prices slow annual inflation rate to Bank of Canada’s 2% bull’s-eye

But with weakening global economic conditions related to the U.S.-China trade war some economists now expect governor Stephen Poloz to cut interest rates this fall — and perhaps as early as September.

The Canadian economy has continued to perform well despite mounting concerns about the global outlook.

A closer look at the inflation data for July, shows gas prices had less of a year-over-year fall than the previous month’s report. The smaller drop applied more upward pressure on the headline number as consumers paid more for gas in July compared with June.

By omitting pump prices, the agency said last month’s overall annual inflation number was 2.4 per cent.

Prices, the report said, increased in all eight of its major categories compared with a year earlier. However, annual price pressures in the services index slowed last month to 2.4 per cent, down from 2.8 per cent.

By region, consumer prices slowed the most in Manitoba and British Columbia, the report said. Statistics Canada attributed the deceleration in Manitoba to the July 1 drop in the province’s retail sales tax.

On a month-to-month basis, the agency said consumers paid 2.5 per cent less for telephone services in July compared with June. The drop followed pricing changes across the industry as wireless companies faced tougher competition.

The agency said the decrease in phone plan costs was offset somewhat by higher price tags on devices like smartphones and tablets. From June to July, the price of these devices rose 42.5 per cent.

Andy Blatchford, The Canadian Press


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Sylvan Lake man appears in court for death of his wife

Satnam Singh Sandhu appeared in Red Deer Provincial Court Wednesday morning

Sylvan Lake man charged with wife’s murder

Satnam Singh Sandhu, 41, will appear in Red Deer Provincial Court on Sept. 18

Sylvan Lake Minor Football teams put up a collective 223-point shutout

The Lakers, Lions and Bears all had shutout games over the weekend

Sylvan Lake Terry Fox Run sees largest turnout ever

The annual run took a new course, starting at Lighthouse Park, going along Lakeshore to Jarvis Bay

VIDEO: Trudeau asks Canada to look to current, not past, actions on race

Liberal leader says he never spoke about the racist photo because he was embarrassed

Red Deer Rebels fall to Edmonton in home opener 4-2

Red Deer will play the second of a home and home on Sunday

Handgun crackdown, health spending and transit plans latest campaign promises

Friday was the end of a busy week on the campaign trail

Expert says acquittal of Alberta parents in boy’s death unlikely to set precedent

The Stephans testified they thought their son had croup and used herbal remedies to treat him

Air Canada forced girl, 12, to remove hijab: civil rights group

The San Francisco Bay Area office of the Council on American-Islamic Relations calling for change

Man from Winnipeg who was hiking alone found dead in Banff National Park

RCMP say the man was hiking alone on Mount Temple Thursday

Singh campaigns in Toronto, May in Winnipeg, as Liberal and Tory leaders pause

All parties expected to be back on the campaign trail Sunday

Possible Canadian cases of vaping illnesses being investigated: health officer

‘I think that will be really important to address the overall trend of youth vaping’

Area 51 events mostly peaceful; thousands in Nevada desert

Three more people were arrested Friday on the remote once-secret military base

Most Read