By Kim Mackrael
OTTAWA--Canada's annual inflation rate decelerated in February.
Canada's consumer-price index climbed 2.2% on a year-over-year basis in February, Statistics Canada said Wednesday. Market expectations were for CPI to rise 2.1%, according to economists at TD Bank.
On a month-over-month basis, CPI advanced 0.4%.
Markets are expected to look through Wednesday's inflation data because they cover a period before worries about the coronavirus pandemic escalated sharply in North America. TD Bank economists said earlier this week that it could take another month before the effects of the pandemic show up in Canadian inflation data.
The Bank of Canada, which sets interest rates to achieve 2% inflation over the long term, has already cut its benchmark rate by a full percentage point since the beginning of March, bringing it to 0.75%. Many economists anticipate another rate cut, possibly as early as Wednesday.
The February inflation report showed the Bank of Canada's preferred measures for underlying inflation remained near the central bank's 2% target, with the average core CPI at 1.97%. The core readings are meant to filter out volatile, month-to-month swings in prices.
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(END) Dow Jones Newswires
March 18, 2020 10:22 ET (14:22 GMT)Copyright (c) 2020 Dow Jones & Company, Inc.