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B.C. inflation rate cools to 2.7% in October

The rate of inflation on the West Coast is now nearly one full percentage point lower than it was in the summer
B.C.'s inflation rate of 2.7 per cent came in below the national rate of 3.1 per cent in October, according to Statistics Canada. | Solstock/E+/Getty Images

British Columbians look to be faring better than most other Canadians in the ongoing battle with high inflation.

The inflation rate on the West Coast cooled to 2.7 per cent in October, down from 3.3 per cent a month earlier.

Statistics Canada’s latest figures for the West Coast peg the province’s inflation rate even lower than the national rate of 3.1 per cent.

The falling price of natural gas in B.C. (-6.1 per cent) on a monthly basis was one of the biggest drivers for the  inflation trend, according to data released Tuesday.

On a national level, major declines came in the form of traveller accommodation (-13.1 per cent), gasoline (-6.4 per cent) and fresh vegetables (-3.3 per cent).

Meanwhile, travel tours (+11.1 per cent) and property taxes (+4.9 per cent) were among the notable items that saw prices go up on a monthly basis.

“It is encouraging to see another leg down in [Consumer Price Index] inflation in October, but the Bank of Canada will likely need to see further progress on core inflation before it feels confident that inflation is headed back to the two per cent target,” TD Bank senior economist Leslie Preston said in a note.

“There is little doubt that Canada's economy has cooled in recent months, but the chill in inflation that should follow is proving slow to show up. We expect weaker demand in the economy will ultimately dampen price pressures, but given tightness in the labour market, it will take time.”

She said this will present a “communications challenge” for the central bank, as the impact of its monetary policies will painful for many Canadians.

The Bank of Canada makes its next interest date decision in early December.

"While no one expected inflation to go quietly into the night, this is a generally good news step in the right direction," BMO chief economist Douglas Porter said in a note.

“Today's result drives home the point that there is no need for further BoC tightening, especially with the economy already struggling to grow at all and underlying inflation calming. However, before the Bank can even begin seriously considering rate relief, we'll need to see more evidence that services inflation is also moderating – that could be at least another six months down the road.”

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