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B.C. inflation rate cools to 3.3% in September

Inflation on West Coast now lower than national rate of 3.8%: StatCan
The cost of baked goods rose eight per cent in September, according to Statistics Canada.

B.C.’s inflation rate is back on a cooling trend.

Consumer prices on the West Coast rose 3.3 per cent last month – down from 3.8 per cent in August, according to Statistics Canada data released Tuesday (Oct. 17).

The latest numbers bring the province back to where inflation stood in July, prior to the full impacts of the B.C. port worker strike hitting the economy.

That national inflation rate, meanwhile, cooled to 3.8 per cent. That’s down from four per cent in August.

Nationally, airfare prices fell 21.1 per cent annually and furniture prices fell 4.6 per cent.

But the grocery aisle is continuing to prove a challenge for shoppers despite inflation cooling in that category.

Grocery prices rose overall by 5.8 per cent – down from a 6.9 per cent in August.

Prices for baked goods went up eight per cent and the price of meats went up by 4.4 per cent.

Housing costs rose at a rate of six per cent annually, with rentals going up 7.1 per cent compared with 6.4 per cent a month earlier. Owned housing fell from 6.4 per cent in August to 6.3 per cent in September.

The Bank of Canada will get to chew on Tuesday’s inflation number ahead of next week’s interest rate decision.

“The slower increase in Canadian consumer prices in September was a step in the right direction,” RBC economist Claire Fan said in a note. “It was also long overdue, given persistent signs of cooling in labour market conditions as well as in consumer spending data.”

Based on Tuesday’s numbers, she predicts the central bank will keep its key rate at five per cent through to the end of the year.

"Today's inflation print is another small step towards tackling the last leg of the inflation battle,” TD economist Marc Ercolao said in a note.

“Alongside other measures that have shown momentum is cooling in Canada's economy, we see enough evidence for the [Bank of Canada] to stand on the sidelines next week.”

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