Skip to content

B.C. inflation ticks up in March after months of cooling

National inflation rate higher than on the West Coast
Mortgage costs and rent prices were the top two contributors to national inflation in March, according to Statistics Canada.

Inflation on the West Coast took a break last month from its cooling trend.

B.C.’s inflation rate rose to 2.7 per cent on an annual basis in March, up slightly from 2.6 per cent in February, according to Statistics Canada data released Tuesday.

Consumer prices had been easing consistently in the prior months, growing by 3.4 per cent in December and three per cent in January.

Meantime, B.C.’s inflation rate still clocked in lower than the national rate of 2.9 per cent – up from 2.8 per cent a month prior.

Rent prices (up 8.5 per cent) and increasing mortgage costs (up 25.4 per cent) were the main drivers of inflation across Canada in March.

Phone services (-20.2 per cent), internet (-15.5 per cent) and natural gas prices (-10.5 per cent) were the main downward contributors.

“With inflation still at the top of the [Bank of Canada’s] range, we expect the bank will want to see a bit more confirmation before taking rates lower and lean towards a July cut,” TD senior economist Leslie Preston said in a note.

CIBC senior economist Andrew Grantham said he was leaning towards the Bank of Canada cutting its overnight rate in June.

“However, a weakening currency complicates matters somewhat and could restrict how many cuts the Bank feels comfortable delivering before the Fed also starts trimming rates later in the year,” he said in a note.

[email protected]