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Inflation rate cooled to 0.9% in March as coronavirus pandemic set in

Click to play video: 'Oil prices drop to historic lows amid pandemic' Oil prices drop to historic lows amid pandemic
Global News chief political correspondent David Akin details why oil prices have dropped to historic lows even negative levels. Akin explains that the pandemic means people are driving less and using less oil but oil producers can't stop production. – Apr 21, 2020

Statistics Canada reports the annual pace of inflation in March slowed to a pace last seen in 2015 as the economy was gripped by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The agency says the consumer price index for March was up 0.9 per cent compared with a year ago.

READ MORE: Canada’s GDP shrank by 9% in March amid COVID-19

The reading compared with a year-over-year increase of 2.2 per cent in February.

Economists on average had expected a reading of 1.2 per cent for March, according to financial markets data firm Refinitiv.

Energy prices fell 11.6 per cent on a year-over-year basis in March. Excluding energy, the consumer price index rose 1.7 per cent.

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