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Canadian monthly consumer price index rose at the strongest pace since 1991 with gasoline and vehicle costs leading widespread gains, and the core measure posted the highest reading in records dating to 1964.
The stronger-than-expected inflation data suggests the central bank will hold on to its mildly hawkish bias at the April policy decision.
The headline or all-items consumer price index accelerated to 1.2%--the largest monthly gain since January 1991--from 0.1% in January as gasoline prices rose the most since May 2008 and vehicle costs rebounded as manufacturers offered fewer rebates, Statistics Canada said Thursday. That, together with higher prices in all other index components except for clothing and footwear, lifted the annual rate to a four-month high of 1.2% from 0.5% previously.
The consensus call was for prices to grow 0.7% on monthly basis and an annual gain of 0.8%, according to a report from Royal Bank of Canada.
Core CPI, which strips out volatile components including some food and energy costs, accelerated to 0.8% on a monthly basis from 0.1%, and was up 1.4% year-on-year--the fastest since August 2012--from 1.0% in January.
The consensus call was for this measure to rise 0.3% month-on-month and 1.0% year-on-year.
On a seasonally adjusted basis, the monthly all-items CPI grew 0.7%, the most since June 2008, and the core measure rose 0.4% from 0.1% previously.
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