On Nov. 20, 2019, Statistics Canada reported the overall rise in prices came as food prices rose 3.7 per cent compared with a year ago. (File photo by THE CANADIAN PRESS)

StatCan reports annual pace of inflation held steady at 1.9 per cent in October

OTTAWA — The annual pace of inflation held steady in October as the consumer price index rose 1.9 per cent compared with a year ago, matching its moves in August and September, Statistics Canada said Wednesday.

The result was also in line with the expectations of economists, according to financial markets data firm Refinitiv.

The overall rise in prices came as food prices rose 3.7 per cent compared with a year ago. Fresh fruit prices rose 7.9 per cent and fresh vegetable prices climbed 7.5 per cent.

Compared with a year ago, the price of gasoline was down 6.7 per cent in October compared with a 10.0 per cent decline in September. Natural gas prices rose 3.3 per cent compared with a year ago following a 5.8 per cent increase in September.

Statistics Canada said although global demand for oil remained low in October, there were slight price increases on a monthly basis due to temporary supply disruptions in the Middle East and a drop in crude oil inventories in the United States.

Excluding gasoline, the annual pace of inflation was 2.3 per cent in October, down from 2.4 per cent in September.

The average of Canada’s three measures for core inflation, which are considered better gauges of underlying price pressures, was 2.07 per cent compared with a revised figure of 2.03 per cent in September.

The core readings are closely monitored by the Bank of Canada, which adjusts its key interest rate target to manage inflation.

Regionally, prices were up 2.3 per cent compared with a year ago in Quebec, while Manitoba and B.C. both saw increases of 2.2 per cent. The annual pace of inflation was 1.7 per cent in Ontario.

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