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

2019 Federal election: Courtenay-Alberni candidates address seniors issues

“What are your party’s plans to ease the stress realized by seniors on fixed incomes?”

WATCH: Jordan now a key member on staff at Parksville business

Disability Awareness Month celebrated around province

RDN wants to play role in Ballenas track upgrade

Bringing dilapidated facility up to standard could cost close to $1M

Qualicum Beach joins in on global climate strike

Participants urge government to adequately address climate crisis

Coombs athlete, 91, brings home five gold medals from 55+ BC Games

Buschhaus now has 217 career senior games medals

VIDEO: A moment to remember during the World Lacrosse Men’s Indoor Championship in B.C.

Diego Hernandez Valenzuela’s team lost, but he felt like a winner Saturday

B.C. Lions hype-man marks 15 years of cheers

Crazy P cheers, chants, bangs his drum and spreads a message of love

Island music trivia tournament a hit on World Alzheimer’s Day

More than $13,000 raised by people naming that tune

PHOTOS: Steller sea lion with plastic around neck rescued on Vancouver Island

Rescue staff determined the plastic band cut the protected animal’s neck approximately two inches

B.C. VIEWS: School officials join fact-free ‘climate strike’

Students, public get distorted picture of greenhouse gases

Handgun crackdown, health spending and transit plans latest campaign promises

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

B.C. woman photographs massive ant swarm on Abbotsford driveway

She asked what the ants were doing? The answer: war

Iconic 90s TV show ‘Friends’ celebrates 25th anniversary

The iconic, decade-long television show aired its first episode 25 years ago today

Most Read