Canada's annual inflation rate hits 4.4% in September, highest since 2003

Canada's annual inflation rate hits 4.4% in September, highest since 2003

Canada's annual inflation rate hits 4.4% in September, highest since 2003

People shop at a Walmart Supercentre amid coronavirus fears spreading in Toronto, Ontario, Canada March 13, 2020. REUTERS/Carlos Osorio

OTTAWA, Oct 20 (Reuters) – Canada’s annual inflation rate accelerated to a new 18-year-high in September, driven by transportation, shelter and food prices, data showed on Wednesday, upping the pressure on the Bank of Canada ahead of a rate decision next week.

Inflation rose to 4.4% in September, beating the average analyst estimate of 4.3%, to reach its fastest clip since February 2003, Statistics Canada data showed.

CPI common, which the Bank of Canada calls the best gauge of the economy’s underperformance, was flat at 1.8%, while the other two measures of core inflation posted gains.

The Bank of Canada expects headline inflation to remain above its 1%-3% control range this year. Governor Tiff Macklem warned last week that supply chain bottlenecks mean it will probably take a bit longer than previously expected for inflation to come down. read more

The Canadian dollar pared gains after the data, touching 1.2349 to the greenback, or 80.98 U.S. cents.

Reporting by Julie Gordon in Ottawa; Editing by Andrew Heavens and Andrea Ricci

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.