Viernes, 19 Octubre, 2018

Autos fuel Canada retail sales in March, inflation holds in April

Reuters Reuters
Eleena Tovar | 20 May, 2017, 03:27

Annual inflation was also 1.6 per cent in March and, according to Thomson Reuters, a consensus of economists had predicted 1.7 per cent inflation for April. The Bank of Canada sets rate policy to achieve and maintain 2% inflation.

Statistics Canada reported Friday that gasoline prices rose 9.5 per cent for the month, partly due to supply disruptions at oil refineries, as they changed over to summer fuel blends.

The decline in food prices was broad-based, with cheaper fresh fruit and vegetables, meat and dairy products sending the segment down 1.1 percent.

All in all, economists viewed the stable inflation rate as a sign the economy is in no danger of overheating, which would require higher interest rates.

In addition, the cost of kids' clothing was 6.2 per cent lower and women's clothes cost 2.8 per cent less in April, compared with a year earlier.

Measures of annual core inflation fell, underlining Bank of Canada Governor Stephen Poloz's concern that excess slack remains in the economy.

Statistics Canada said the inflation rate was higher in three provinces, including Saskatchewan, which easily saw the biggest acceleration after it raised its provincial sales tax in late March. Excluding autos, retail sales were down 0.2 per cent.

Prices rose at a slower pace year-over-year in five provinces, while they were unchanged in two provinces.

Total retail trade in March was almost $48.3 billion thanks to stronger sales at motor vehicle and parts dealers, which was mostly due to an increase in new auto purchases.

Retailers across the country recorded sales of $48.3 billion, a gain of 6.9 per cent year-over-year and 0.7 per cent from February.