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Inflation data reveals fastest rent costs increase since 1991

Rent costs were up 3.7 per cent year-over-year in October, the fastest increase since 1991, according to Statistics Canada data.
Rent costs were up 3.7 per cent year-over-year in October, the fastest increase since 1991, according to Statistics Canada data. Ryan Remiorz/The Canadian Press

Statistics Canada says the annual pace of inflation held steady in October as the consumer price index rose 1.9 per cent compared with a year ago, matching its moves in August and September. The result was also in line with the expectations of economists, according to financial markets data firm Refinitiv.

The overall rise in prices came as fresh fruit prices rose 7.9 per cent compared with a year ago and fresh vegetable prices climbed 7.5 per cent. Compared with a year ago, the price of gasoline was down 6.7 per cent, however natural gas prices rose 3.3 per cent. Excluding gasoline, the annual pace of inflation was 2.3 per cent in October, down from 2.4 per cent in September.

READ MORE: How much does a week of groceries cost in Canada? We crunched the numbers

The average of Canada’s three measures for core inflation, which are considered better gauges of underlying price pressures, was 2.07 per cent compared with a revised figure of 2.03 per cent in September.

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The “relatively high” pace of core inflation is being driven by housing costs, BMO chief economist Douglas Porter said in a note to clients. Rent costs were up 3.7 per cent last month compared to the same period in 2018, the fastest annual increase since 1991.

Property taxes also contributed to the increase, rising 2.2 per cent year-over-year compared to 1.4 per cent last year, Porter noted.

— With a file from Global News money reporter Erica Alini