Canada’s inflation rate held steady at 1.6 per cent in April, as energy got more expensive but food got cheaper.
Statistics Canada reported Friday that gasoline prices rose 9.5 per cent for the month, partly due to supply disruptions at oil refineries, as they changed over to summer fuel blends.
For the year as a whole, pump prices were nearly 16 per cent higher in April than they were in 2016.
On the opposite end of the spectrum, food prices have declined by 1.1 per cent over the same period. That’s been the case for seven straight months, but there are signs that trend will soon reverse itself.
Aside from food, clothing and footwear was the only sector to see prices drop in the past year, by two per cent.
Other sources of strength included the transportation index, up 4.2 per cent, and shelter costs which were up by 2.2 per cent.
All in all, economists viewed the stable inflation rate as a sign the economy is in no danger of overheating, which would require higher interest rates.
“With inflation readings weakening, but remaining within the Bank’s target range, expect no change in interest rates from the Bank of Canada any time soon,” IIHS economist Arlene Kish said. “The first hike is anticipated in early 2018.”