The Globe and Mail reports in its Thursday, Oct. 20, edition that Canadian inflation slowed slightly in September, but not to the extent that analysts were expecting. The Globe's Matt Lundy writes that the numbers pave the way for another outsized Bank of Canada rate hike next week -- perhaps taking the policy rate to 4 per cent, the highest since 2008, which more economists are now predicting. The consumer price index, or CPI, rose 6.9 per cent in September from a year earlier, Statistics Canada said Wednesday. That was down from 7 per cent in August and marked the third consecutive month of deceleration. It was, however, widely seen as a disappointment on Bay Street. Analysts had predicted inflation would ease to 6.7 per cent.
Inflation is proving sticky. After excluding food and energy, which can be volatile aspects of the CPI, prices rose 5.4 per cent over the past year, up from 5.3 per cent in August. On a monthly basis, CPI rose at a faster pace in September than in August. In a distressing sign for many families, grocery inflation hit a new multidecade high. To tamp down inflation, the BOC is universally expected to deliver another large rate hike at its next decision on Oct. 26.
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