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Inflation holds at 1.6%

The country's annual inflation rate once again rang in at 1.6 per cent last month as higher energy costs offset a seventh consecutive decline in grocery prices, Statistics Canada said Friday.

The agency's consumer price index for April identified higher prices for gasoline and natural gas as the biggest upward drivers in year-over-year inflation.

On the other hand, fresh produce and clothing applied the most downward pressure on the inflation rate.

The annual inflation rate matched Statistics Canada's reading for March but was below a consensus estimate of 1.7 per cent, according to Thomson Reuters data. In B.C., the inflation rate inched up by a tenth of a point to 2.1 per cent.

Prices at the pump were 15.9 per cent higher last month, and the cost of natural gas rose 15.2 per cent more, Statistics Canada said.

Overall food prices were down 1.1 per cent as prices for fresh fruits fell 6.2 per cent, fresh vegetables slipped 5.9 per cent and meat dropped 2.1 per cent.

In addition, the cost of kids' clothing was 6.2 per cent lower and women's clothes cost 2.8 per cent less in April, compared with a year earlier.



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