#StatisticsCanada, #Mortgageinterestcosts, #JamesMarple, #DougPorter, #AtlanticCanada, #inflation. #BankofMontreal, #Toronto-DominionBank
Ottawa, Mar 24 (Canadian-Media): Annual inflation in Canada had risen to a 2.2. percent in February, from 1.7 a month before, Statistics Canada reported today.
The rise in the cost of living by 2.2 percent annually, its highest level since 2014 had reportedly been attributed to sharp increase in the price of energy costs by 5.3 percent in the year up to February, and a 12.6 percent rise in gasoline prices over the past year.
Prices of food at restaurants and mortgage interest costs also reportedly increased by 4 percent and 2.3 percent respectively in the past 12 months.
"That's a big swing from recent years, when falling borrowing costs were regularly holding down inflation," Bank of Montreal economist Doug Porter was reported to state. "Clearly, the pendulum has swung on that one."
But there had been a decrease in price for electricity, traveller accommodation, digital computing equipment and devices, video equipment and furniture by 4.7 percent, 4.8 percent, 5.9 percent, 10.1 percent and 1.8 percent respectively in the past 12 months.
But Atlantic Canada showed highest inflation rate across Canada in February.
"Growth was strongest in the Atlantic provinces, led by higher prices for food purchased from stores," the data agency said in a release.
James Marple, Toronto-Dominion (TD) Bank economist reportedly believed that recent minimum wage hikes was likely a factor in the increase in restaurant meal prices.
But Marple reportedly also thinks the Bank of Canada will be paying close attention to Friday's inflation report.
"After several months below two per cent, inflation pressures have picked up and have moved on top of the Bank of Canada's target," Marple said. "Today's data does create the risk that the Bank of Canada moves sooner, but with downside risks to the economic outlook still elevated, this summer remains most likely to see the next policy interest rate hike."
(Reporting by Asha Bajaj)