Inflation Eases in August

CBJ — Figures released by Statistics Canada reveal the nation’s annual inflation rate eased to 2.8% in August. It’s likely that slower increases in gasoline prices at the pumps helped most with the final figure. July’s number came in at an even 3%.

The average of Canada’s three measures of core inflation, which leave out more-volatile items like gas prices, rose slightly to 2.1 per cent compared with two per cent in July and 1.96 in June.

The Bank of Canada pays close attention to core inflation ahead of its interest-rate decisions — and can raise its trend-setting rate as a way to keep inflation from rising too high.

Meanwhile, retail trade expanded 0.3% in July due to increases at food and beverage stores and gas stations.

The July increase, which brought sales to $50.9 billion, followed a June contraction of 0.1% and a May expansion of 2.2%.