December 21, 2022 By The Canadian Press
OTTAWA — Canada’s annual inflation rate edged down slightly to 6.8 per cent in November.
In its latest consumer price index report released Wednesday, Statistics Canada said slower price growth for gasoline and furniture last month was offset by rapidly rising shelter costs and stubbornly high grocery prices.
Grocery prices climbed at a faster annual rate in November. The federal agency said prices rose 11.4 per cent annually, up from 11 per cent in October.
The rise in shelter costs is attributed to higher mortgage interest costs and rising rent. Mortgage interest costs were 14.5 per cent higher in November on an annual basis, while rent was up 5.9 per cent.
Statistics Canada said upward pressure is being placed on rent prices as more Canadians are priced out of homeownership because of high interest rates.
Gasoline prices were down 3.6 per cent on a monthly basis.
Excluding food and energy, prices were up 5.4 per cent on a yearly basis.
November’s consumer price index report compares with an annual inflation rate of 6.9 per cent in October and September. Inflation peaked in July at 8.1 per cent.
Economists expect Canadians facing higher shelter costs because of high interest rates to pull back on other spending. That process is expected to slow inflation.
The Bank of Canada has raised interest rates rapidly this year to cool decades-high inflation and slow spending in the economy.
After raising its key interest rate for the seventh consecutive time in early December, the central bank has signalled it’s open to pressing pause on the rate hikes.
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