OTTAWA — Canada’s annual inflation rate eased slightly to 6.8% in November as gas prices rose at slower pace and offset a surge in shelter costs, Statistics Canada data showed on Wednesday.
The headline inflation number was still a notch above analyst forecasts of 6.7%, but down from 6.9% in October. Excluding food and energy, prices rose 5.4% compared with a rise of 5.3% in October.
On the month, the consumer price index rose 0.1%, again above analysts’ expectations of prices staying flat.
Gasoline prices rose 13.7% after rising 17.8% in October, largely driven by price declines in Western Canada, Statscan said.
Housing costs accelerated in November, mainly due to rising mortgage interest cost and rent. The annual surge of 14.5% in mortgage cost was the largest since February 1983.
The Bank of Canada has hiked rates at a record pace of 400 basis points in nine months to 4.25% – a level last seen in January 2008 – to fight inflation that is far above its target.
Going forward, the bank has said it will be more data-dependent in setting the policy rate.
The average of central bank’s core measures of inflation, CPI-median and CPI-trim, came in at 5.2% compared with 5.1% in October. CPI-common has become less reliable due to large revisions, the bank has said.
The Canadian dollar was trading at 1.3615 to the greenback, or 73.45 U.S. cents. (Reporting by Ismail Shakil and Dale Smith in Ottawa; Editing by Lisa Shumaker)