Inflation rate drops in Ottawa, across country in February: Statistics Canada

The Canadian Press ~ OBJ
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The inflation rate in the city of Ottawa slowed by half a percentage point to 1.1 per cent in February, Statistics Canada said Friday.

(Stock image)

The national rate also cooled, down to 1.4 per cent in February from 2.0 per cent in January, mostly because of a decline in gasoline prices.

Excluding gasoline, Statistic Canada's consumer price index would have been 1.9 per cent last month.

Statistics Canada says food was a major inflationary factor in February, as it has been for several months. Consumers paid 3.9 per cent more for food last month compared with February 2015.

In total, six of the eight major components of the consumer price index were up.

Apart from the transportation index that includes gasoline, the only other component to decline was clothing and footwear  down 1.3 per cent.

The core inflation rate, which excludes some volatile items such as gasoline, was 1.9 per cent, down from 2.0 per cent in January.

Economists had expected Canada's overall inflation rate to be 1.5 per cent and core inflation to be 2.0 per cent.

In a separate report, Statistics Canada reported unexpectedly strong retail sales for January, led by motor vehicle and parts dealers.

Overall, retail sales rose 2.1 per cent to $44.2 billion in January, compared with $43.2 billion in December.

The motor vehicle and parts dealers accounted for about one-quarter of January's retail sales, rising 4.8 per cent from December to $11.6 billion the following month.

Retail sales were up in eight provinces in January, with Alberta showing a decline of 0.2 per cent and Prince Edward Island edging down 0.1 per cent from December.

Organizations: Statistics Canada

Geographic location: Ottawa, Canada, Alberta Prince Edward Island

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