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Inflation posts first rise since May Add to ...

Canada's annual inflation rate rose 0.1 per cent last month, the first increase in five months, as consumers paid more for food, furnishing and tuition.

Consumer prices rose after registering a 0.9-per-cent drop in September, Statistics Canada said Wednesday. The monthly rate advanced 0.4 per cent, marking the fifth gain in six months.

The annual increase comes as gasoline prices exerted less downward pressure on the consumer price index than in previous months. Canadians also paid more for everything from meat and dairy products to child care, tuition fees and books.

The Bank of Canada aims to keep its key lending rate at a record low of 0.25 per cent through to next summer unless its outlook for inflation changes - and economists said today's report won't change its views. Less volatile core prices, closely tracked by the central bank, rose 1.8 per cent last month, a pick-up from September's 1.5-per-cent rate.

"Despite the acceleration in both headline and core yearly inflation, significant excess capacity and the strong loonie should keep a lid on price pressures. Inflation concerns will remain on the back burner for a while," said Bank of Montreal economist Benjamin Reitzes in a note.


Pump prices were 13.1 per cent below last year's level in October, compared with a 23-per-cent annual drop in September.

Food prices rose 2.3 per cent, though that gain was less than in previous months. Costs rose for meat, seafood, dairy products and eggs, along with restaurant food. Prices for fresh vegetables and fruit fell.

Prices for household goods, furnishing and equipment rose. Child care, domestic services and communications also got pricier.

Tuition fees climbed 4.1 per cent from a year ago, and reading material and other printed items jumped 6.8 per cent.

Prices advanced in the health and personal care segment of the CPI.

On the other hand, prices for computers along with video, audio, and photographic equipment continued to slide.

Transportation is down 3.1 per cent from year-ago levels amid lower gasoline prices and as car prices fell 4.1 per cent. A 7.7-per-cent increase in car insurance premiums moderated the overall drop in the transportation segment.

Shelter costs fell amid lower prices for natural gas, fuel oil, homeowner's replacement cost and mortgage interest costs. That outweighed increases in homeowners' maintenance and repairs costs as well as higher property taxes.

Consumer prices rose at the fastest pace in Quebec and New Brunswick, while they fell in British Columbia for the fifth straight month.

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