Friday, March 22, 2019 - 08:51

MNI DATA IMPACT:Canada CPI Ticks Up to +1.5% Y/Y; Core Down

By Yali N'Diaye

OTTAWA (MNI) - The following are the key points from the February data on the Canadian CPI released Friday by Statistics Canada:

- Headline unadjusted CPI rose 0.7% on the month, more than the 0.6% gain expected by analysts in a MNI survey, with all the eight major components recording an increase. On a seasonally adjusted basis, CPI was up 0.3% on the month, and 0.2% excluding food and energy.

- The monthly boost came in large part from gasoline prices, which were up 1.9%, their first monthly increase since July 2018. CPI excluding gasoline rose 0.6% on the month, the largest gain in a year.

- On a 12-month basis, however, the headline CPI remained below the Bank of Canada's target of 2.0%, although it ticked up to 1.5% from 1.4% in January, as the decline in gas prices was smaller: -11.9% in February vs. -14.2% the previous month. Still, gas prices remained the top downward contributor to the 12-month CPI. The market consensus was +1.4%.

- CPI excluding gasoline alone rose 2.1% year-over-year, the same pace as in January. Mortgage interest cost was the top upward contributor, with an 8.1% 12-month gain, the largest since August 2008.

- The BOC's preferred measures of core inflation remained around the 2.0% target in February, showing little pressure coming from economic activity. The average was 1.8% in February, down from 1.9% in January, with CPI-common down to 1.8% from 1.9%, while the other two measures remained unchanged.

--MNI Ottawa Bureau; email:


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