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Canada’s inflation rate ticks up to 2% in April

Canada’s inflation rate ticks up to 2% in April

Canada’s inflation rate rose to two per cent in April, from 1.9 per cent the previous month.

The uptick, reported by Statistics Canada on Wednesday, was in line with what economists polled by Bloomberg had been expecting.

While gasoline and other energy prices have risen sharply since the fall, on an annual basis they are actually cheaper than they were this time last year — so much so that if the impact of gas prices were to be stripped out, the inflation rate would have been 2.3 per cent.

While gasoline is cheaper than it was 12 months ago, compared to March there was a huge jump, largely because of a new carbon tax being implemented in New Brunswick, Ontario, Manitoba, P.E.I. and Saskatchewan, while British Columbia hiked its existing levy.

All told, gasoline prices were 10 per cent higher in April than they were in March — but still cheaper on average than they were a year ago.

Scotiabank economist Derek Holt noticed an interesting one-time factor that nudged the rate higher: travel.

The price of travel and tours was 8.4 per cent higher in April than it was a year ago partly because Easter came during the month.

“The increase was partly attributable to the fact that the first two days of the Easter long weekend, a popular time for travel, took place in April this year,” Statistics Canada said.