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Canada’s inflation rate slows to 3.4%, lowest level in almost 2 years

Canada's inflation rate decelerated to 3.4 per cent in the year up to May, Statistics Canada says, led by sharply lower gasoline prices.

Deceleration of headline rate mostly due to gasoline, as most other aspects still going up fast

The silhouette of a man pumping gas is shown.

Canada's inflation rate decelerated to 3.4 per cent in the year up to May, Statistics Canada said Tuesday, led by sharply lower gasoline prices.

That's a significant slowdown from the 4.4 per cent pace seen in April.

Gasoline prices were the single biggest reason for the deceleration. If gasoline is stripped out, the inflation rate would be 4.4 per cent.

Gasoline prices being down, on average, by more than 18 per cent compared to the record highs they were hitting this time last year was enough to drag down the overall inflation rate just by itself.

But beneath the headline slowdown in consumer prices, many facets of the cost of living are still increasing at an eye-watering pace.

Grocery prices went up at an almost nine per cent pace. That's barely lower than the 9.1 per cent pace clocked in April, and still almost three times the inflation rate.

Food prices have been increasing at a faster pace than the official inflation rate for more than a year now.

WATCH | Food businesses say inflation is taking a bite out of their profits:

Food truck owners say inflation is eating their profits

1 hour ago

Duration 1:57

Entrepreneurs Raj Kuganesan and Brenda Phillips, who own food trucks in Oshawa, Ont. say the price of everything from gasoline to ingredients has forced them to raise their prices over the past year.

And the cost of keeping a roof over one's head continues to rocket higher.

The mortgage interest cost index rose 29.9 per cent. That's the fastest pace on record, and it's happening because variable-rate mortgage holders are seeing their rates go up, and fixed-rate loans are having to renew and lock in at much higher rates than they were paying before.

Rent increased by 5.6 per cent in the past year, the date agency says, and overall shelter costs went up at a 4.7 per cent pace.

Leslie Preston, an economist with TD Bank, noted that if you strip out volatile items like gasoline and mortgage rates, underlying inflation is still probably warm enough that the Bank of Canada is likely to think at least one more rate hike is warranted at some point.

"Cooler goods inflation is welcome, but the Bank of Canada has likely been counting on that already as supply chain snarls improve," she said. "Canadian inflation continued to cool in May, but progress is unlikely to be enough to prevent the Bank of Canada from raising rates in July."

Credit belongs to : www.cbc.ca

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