Statistics Canada’s latest consumer price index report show that price growth was once again held back by lower gas prices. (Photo by THE CANADIAN PRESS)

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

OTTAWA — 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.

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.

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

Just Posted

UPDATE: Seven-year-old dies and her mother and two brothers are injured in trailer fire

Fire started shortly after 1 a.m. and took four hours to put out

Racist videos targeting Maskwacis are under investigation

Video images of what appears to be teenagers issuing racist and sexist… Continue reading

Red Deer County residents decry lack of public consultation over ‘enormous’ river water withdrawals

Noise, light, diesel emission complaints were made to the Alberta Energy Regulator

Woman no longer co-accused in 2019 Red Deer murder

Preliminary hearing of co-accused in murder began on Friday and resumes next month

Red Deer Mayor says city council’s advocacy isn’t over with shelter and hospital funding gains

Additional Crown prosecutors are still at the top of Tara Veer’s list

Fashion Fridays: Tammy’s big makeover

Kim XO, helps to keep you looking good on Fashion Fridays on the Black Press Media Network

Your community calendar

Feb. 19 A Liberation of Holland event is being held at the… Continue reading

Canadian-Indians worry for their families as riots break out in India

Naila Saeed could do nothing but worry from afar when rioters descended… Continue reading

Public health agency weighs stronger COVID-19 protection for front-line workers

OTTAWA — The Public Health Agency of Canada says it will consult… Continue reading

Ukraine pledges help for airline compensation for Iran plane crash victims

OTTAWA — Ukraine’s ambassador to Canada says his government will help Foreign… Continue reading

Saskatchewan premier won’t commit to fall election; cites national unrest

ESTEVAN, Sask. — Saskatchewan Premier Scott Moe says rail blockades and the… Continue reading

Suspect charged with first-degree murder in death of 13-year-old Quebec girl

ST-JEROME, Que. — Friends and family of a teenage girl whose body… Continue reading

Tories call on government to compensate dairy farmers ‘left behind’ in new NAFTA

OTTAWA — The Conservative opposition says the government must compensate dairy farmers… Continue reading

Red Deer Construction Association honours local builders

5th annual Commercial Construction Awards took place on Thursday evening

Most Read