B.C.’s annual inflation rate falls to 2.2% in February

Inflation dipped slightly in B.C. and rose slightly nationwide in February, according to Statistics Canada | Photo: Shutterstock

What happened: B.C. inflation rate falls to 2.2%, national inflation rate increases to 1.5% in February

What it means: Bank of Canada unlikely to hike rates anytime soon

B.C.’s annual rate of inflation is on a different path than that of the nation.

The province’s inflation rate fell 0.2 percentage points compared with January to hit 2.2% last month, according to data released Friday (March 22) from Statistics Canada.

The Consumer Price Index, meanwhile, showed the nation’s annual inflation rate increasing 0.1% month to month to land at 1.5%

TD senior economist James Marple noted in a report to investors that core inflation has now been "modestly" below 2% since August 2018.

He said the Bank of Canada would likely keep any benchmark rate changes on hold for the foreseeable future.

RBC senior economist Josh Nye echoed those sentiments.

“Not only does low inflation mean [Canadians’] incomes will go further, steady core inflation will make for a patient Bank of Canada,” he said in a note to investors.

“That means less upward pressure on borrowing costs this year. Still, higher debt payments than in recent years will remain a headwind for consumer spending.”

Inflation rates in Vancouver and Victoria held close to that of the province.

Vancouver’s annual rate of inflation fell one tick between January and February to 2.2%, while Victoria fell 0.4 percentage points to 2.5%.

torton@biv.com

@reporton