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Soaring Gas Prices Drive Canadian Annual Inflation Up 2.6%

Canadian consumer prices crept higher in February, although at a slower pace than predicted by economists, as food and energy costs continued to rise.

Statistics Canada's consumer price index rose 2.6 percent in the 12 months to February after increasing 2.5 percent in January, the agency said Friday. Economists expected consumer prices to rise 2.7 percent.

The cost of energy advanced 7.2 percent annually in February, as prices at the pump jumped almost 9 percent. Food prices rose 4.1 percent on a year-over-year basis in February, following a 4.2 percent increase in January.

Stripping out volatile components, the Bank of Canada's core index rose 2.3 percent in the 12 months to February, after increasing 2.1 percent in January. Notable price increases were recorded for electricity. The Bank of Canada aims for 2 percent core inflation.

by RTTNews Staff Writer

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