Canada Inflation at 2-year High

Canada's annual inflation rate unexpectedly jumped to a two-year high of 2.4 percent in October, but analysts differed on whether the data would prompt the Bank of Canada to raise interest rates sooner than expected.

The October figure, released by Statistics Canada on Tuesday, was higher than the 2.2 percent forecast by market operators. Higher prices for gasoline and energy explained much of the year-on-year increase.

The closely watched core rate, which strips out volatile items and the effects of tax changes, rose to 1.8 percent from 1.5 percent in September.

The Bank of Canada kept interest rates on hold last month after three consecutive hikes and said it would think carefully about raising them again.

It also predicted both measures of inflation would rise to its 2.0 percent target by the end of 2012.

The overall year-on-year inflation figure was the highest since the 2.6 percent recorded in October 2008.

Gasoline prices in October were 8.8 percent higher than a year earlier, following a 3.1 percent year-on-year rise in September. Energy prices were up by 9.1 percent from October 2009 after a 5.6 percent advance in September.

The consumer price index rose by 0.4 percent in October from September while the core rate was also up by 0.4 percent. The seasonally adjusted rate posted a 0.7 percent month-on-month increase, the largest such jump since the 0.8 percent rise posted in January 2006.

Canada Inflation at 2-year High, Reuters
11/23/2010 4:26:05 PM