Statistics Canada building and signs are pictured in Ottawa on Wednesday, July 3, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick

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

Canadians did, however, pay more for mortgage interest costs

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.

READ MORE: Canadian inflation decelerates to 1.9% as gas prices weaken

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.

Andy Blatchford, The Canadian Press


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

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

Just Posted

In Our Valley: Joanne Havery

Havery was the food services manager at the Hirsch Creek Golf & Winter Club for 16 years.

Brucejack mine fatality identified

Patrick Critch was from Newfoundland

Here are Kitimat’s 10 worst streets and intersections for collisions

A look at the top 10 roads and intersections for crash numbers in Kitimat.

Pretivm Resources reports fatality at Brucejack mine

The isolated incident occurred last Friday, and the employee passed away on Sunday in hospital

QUIZ: How much do you know about British Columbia?

On this B.C. Day long weekend, put your knowledge of our province to the test

371 British Columbians battling COVID-19, health officials confirm

Thursday (Aug. 6) saw a second straight day of nearly 50 new confirmed cases

Visitors and non-residents entering closed remote B.C. First Nation’s territories

With limited resources, they say they don’t have any authority or power to enforce the closures

UBC loses appeal on Fisheries Act convictions

BC Supreme Court upholds order to pay $1.55-million fine

Masks to be mandatory on BC Transit, TransLink starting Aug. 24

Both BC Transit and TransLink made the announcement in separate press releases on Thursday

Acclaimed B.C. actor Brent Carver passes away

Carver, one of Canada’s greatest actors with a career spanning 40 years, passed away at home in Cranbrook

B.C. would not send students back to school if there was ‘overwhelming risk’: Horgan

Plan has left many parents across the province worried about their children’s safety

Canucks blank Wild 3-0, take series lead in penalty-filled NHL qualifying clash

Jacob Markstrom stops 27 shots to lead Vancouver past Minnesota

North Okanagan man chains himself to tree in protest of construction

Crews began work clearing space for a new facility Thursday, Aug. 6

Most Read