Canadian inflation picks up as monthly prices jump 1.2 per cent in February

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OTTAWA - Statistics Canada says February had the biggest monthly increase in consumer prices in more than over 20 years, as the cost of consumer goods jumped from January.

The annual inflation rate jumped 0.7 percentage points to 1.2 per cent in February, a bigger increase than economists had expected.

February's price increases reversed a recent trend that had taken the consumer price index to the lowest level in three years in January.

Gasoline was the biggest inflation driver, with a month-over-month increase of 8.4 per cent.

But most items saw increases, helping lift the Bank of Canada core inflation index to 1.4 per cent, closer to the central bank's desired setting of two per cent.

Regionally, Statistics Canada says inflation rose at a faster pace in February in all provinces, with Newfoundland and Labrador topping the list at 2.3 per cent.

In a separate release, the agency said average weekly earnings of non-farm payroll employees edged up 0.1 per cent in January and were 2.7 per cent higher than in the same month last year.

Organizations: Statistics Canada, Bank of Canada

Geographic location: OTTAWA, Newfoundland and Labrador

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