Inflation heats up to 2.3% in March, driven by gasoline

 
Inflation heats up to 2.3% in March, driven by gasoline

Canada's inflation rate rose to 2.3 per cent in the year ending in March, the highest level since October 2014, as gas prices and just about everything else got more expensive.

Statistics Canada reported Friday that seven of the eight components the data agency tracks rose in March. The lone exception was clothing and footwear, which got 0.1 per cent cheaper in the previous 12 months.

Gasoline prices were 17.1 per cent higher in March than they were a year earlier. " Pump prices were up 2.9 per cent in the month," Bank of Montreal economist Doug Porter noted after the numbers came out, "and they are on track to rise another five per cent or so in the current month."

Stripping gasoline out of the numbers, the country's overall inflation rate would have been 1.8 per cent.

The Bank of Canada scrutinizes inflation data when it considers interest-rate decisions. The country's inflation rate is now right in the range that the bank targets.