Canadian prices, as measured by the Consumer Price Index (CPI), rose 2.7 per cent on a year-over-year basis in April, down from a 2.9 per cent increase in March. Month-over-month, on a seasonally adjusted basis, CPI rose by 0.2 per cent in April. The deceleration in headline CPI was driven by softening food, services, and durable goods prices, but was moderated by an uptick in gasoline prices (up 6.1 per cent year-over-year). Excluding energy costs, CPI rose 2.5 per cent year-over-year in April, down from 2.8 per cent in March. The shelter cost index remains the major driver of inflation with the rate of increases higher now (6.4 per cent) than they were this time last year (4.9 per cent). Mortgage interest costs were up 24.5 per cent and rent was up 8.2 per cent from the same time last year in April. Excluding shelter, consumer prices rose just 1.2 per cent, year over year. In BC, consumer prices rose 2.9 per cent year-over-year, up from 2.7 per cent in March. The Bank of Canada's preferred measures of core inflation, which strip out volatile components, fell to between 2.6 and 2.9 per cent per cent year-over-year in March.

Canada's inflation rate continued to trend in the right direction in April, hitting the slowest rate of appreciation since March 2021. The Bank of Canada's preferred measures of core inflation, CPI median and CPI trim, have now been below the 2 per cent target for two consecutive months when measured on a 3-month annualized basis. Food costs also appear to be normalizing, and the overall food price index is essentially at 2 per cent. The main problem within the CPI basket is now almost exclusively the shelter component; rent appreciation in particular is troublingly high and the rate of increase continues to rise. Excluding shelter from the CPI index and comparing prices on an annualized 3-month basis, price appreciation in Canada has been close to zero for about half a year. Overall, this report contained yet more good news on inflation and will support the Bank of Canada's case to lower its policy rate in June. The next rate announcement is on Wednesday, June 5th.

Posted by Adam Chahl on
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