By The Canadian Press on December 19, 2023.
OTTAWA – Canada’s annual inflation rate was unchanged last month, holding steady at 3.1 per cent as progress on tamping down price growth stalled.
The November consumer price index report released Tuesday from Statistics Canada shows higher prices for recreation and clothing put upward pressure on inflation.
But the report spelled some good news when it comes to groceries as the pace of price increases eased for a fifth consecutive month.
Grocery prices were up 4.7 per cent from a year ago, marking a slowdown from 5.4 per cent in October.
Prices for services were unchanged last month as higher prices for travel tours were offset by lower prices for cellphone services.
Earlier this month, the Bank of Canada opted to hold its key interest rate steady at five per cent for the third consecutive time, largely because it has been encouraged by the slowdown in inflation and the economy this year.
But in a speech delivered by governor Tiff Macklem last week, he acknowledged there may be bumps along the way to returning inflation to the central bank’s two per cent target.
Inflation in Canada has been steadily declining since mid-2022, but not without some hiccups, including an uptick in inflation during the summer.
The central bank has not ruled out the possibility of another rate hike, if it finds it necessary. But most forecasters anticipate its next move will be to cut interest rates sometime next year.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published Dec. 19, 2023.