Canada March retail sales up 0.7 pct on autos


Two of the three gauges of underlying, or core, inflation also advanced at a slower pace compared with the previous month.

The three new measures of core inflation that the Bank of Canada set a year ago remained muted.

Prices at the pump were 15.9 per cent higher last month and the cost of natural gas rose 15.2 per cent more, Statistics Canada said.

Advertisment Consumer prices were fairly static in April, according to figures released Friday morning by Statistics Canada.

Canada’s annual inflation rate stood at 1.6 per cent in April, same as in the month of March, as higher energy costs offset a seventh consecutive decline in grocery prices, Statistics Canada said Friday.

The decline in food prices was broad-based, with cheaper fresh fruit and vegetables, meat and dairy products sending the segment down 1.1 percent.

Annual inflation was also 1.6 per cent in March and, according to Thomson Reuters, a consensus of economists had predicted 1.7 per cent inflation for April.

That is likely to prompt the central bank to hold rates where they are for some time, despite Canada’s strong housing market and rate hikes from the U.S. Federal Reserve, economists said. The indicators are created to strip away more volatile components of the report, and are closely scrutinized by the Bank of Canada.

Aside from food, clothing and footwear was the only sector to see prices drop in the past year, and they did so 2%.

CPI-common stayed at 1.3 per cent last month, CPI-median decelerated to 1.6 from 1.7 and CPI-trim slowed to 1.3 from 1.4. The data followed a month-over-month February contraction of 0.4 per cent.

Retail sales rose 0.7 percent, exceeding forecasts of 0.4 percent, driven by increased purchases at new and used cars dealers.

The latest picture of Canada’s retail sales shows BC with the biggest increase in the country. Sales province-wide were $6.8 billion.

Sales increased in 6 of 11 subsectors, representing 53 percent of retail trade.

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