Inflation slows to 1.1 per cent in August, Statistics Canada says

OTTAWA – Canada’s annual inflation rate slowed to 1.1 per cent in August, with the main driver for consumer price increases coming from housing and transportation costs, Statistics Canada said Friday.

The August annual inflation rate was in line with economist estimates and compared with an increase of 1.3 per cent in July.

Statistics Canada said shelter costs were up 1.1 per cent from a year earlier as Canadians paid more for rent and natural gas, offset by lower mortgage interest costs compared with last year.

Rent prices were up 1.7 per cent year-over-year, while natural gas costs gained 9.5 per cent. Mortgage interest costs were down 3.6 per cent.

The price of gasoline was also higher, as was the cost of vehicles, however at a slower pace than in July.

Drivers paid 2.2 per cent more for gasoline while passenger vehicle prices were up 0.6 per cent for August. That compared with July’s increases of 6.1 per cent and two per cent, respectively.

The Bank of Canada’s core inflation index rose 1.3 per cent for August compared with 1.4 per cent in July.

The inflation rate remains at the low end of the central banks range, which is between one and three per cent with an ideal target of 2.0 per cent.

Overall, Statistics Canada said prices for seven of the eight components that is tracks were up from a year ago.

Food prices were up one per cent in August, compared with a 0.8 per cent increase in July, while the clothing and footwear index rose 2.3 per cent following a 1.5 per cent increase in the previous month.

The household operations, furnishings and equipment catergory was up 1.2 per cent in August, while the recreation, education and reading category gained 0.3 per cent. Alcohol and tobacco prices were up 1.9 per cent.

That compared with gains of 1.3, 0.5 per cent and 2.1 per cent respectively in July.

The health and personal care category was the only one to report lower prices compared with a year ago as the price of prescription medication fell 4.2 per cent. The group fell 1.1 per cent on a year-over-year basis compared with a 0.4 per cent drop in July.

Manitoba saw the largest increase in prices with a year-over-year gain of 2.7 per cent following a three per cent increase in July with higher prices for cigarettes and vehicle registration fees than a year ago.

British Columbia saw prices slip 0.1 per cent compared with a year ago after remaining unchanged in July.

Looking for more?

Get the Best of Maclean's sent straight to your inbox. Sign up for news, commentary and analysis.