Canada’s inflation rate decelerates to 6.9% but food prices continue to climb

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Canada’s official inflation rate declined for the third month in a row in September, even as many goods and services continued to get more expensive.

Statistics Canada reported Wednesday that the consumer price index declined to 6.9 per cent in September, down from 7 per cent in August.

The rate peaked at a 40-year high of 8.1 per cent in June.

Economists had been expecting an ever bigger drop off to about 6.7 per cent, but food prices pulled the headline number up.

Food purchased at stores increased at a pace of 11.4 per cent. That’s the fastest pace of increase in grocery bills since August 1981.

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The number means food inflation is almost twice as much as the overall inflation rate. Food inflation has now been higher than the overall rate for 10 months in a row.

Gasoline prices, which were a major contributor to inflation earlier in the year, have now fallen for three months in a row. They’re still on average 13 per cent higher than they were a year ago, but they fell by more than seven per cent during the month of September.

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