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A weaker-than-expected report on inflation in Canada adds to evidence of an ongoing tug of war between economic growth and the hobbling effects of record household debt. The winner of this contest will determine the country’s economic future.

The top line consumer price index rose by 0.7 per cent in October. Coming in only slightly below economists’ forecasts, the figure is hardly a reason to panic or to gird for a tsunami of Japanese-style deflation. And core CPI, the Bank of Canada’s preferred measure of inflation, came in as expected at 1.2 per cent.

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