March data expected to show drop in inflation rate

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OTTAWA — Statistics Canada is set to release its latest inflation reading this morning with its consumer price index report for March.

The index tracks changes in the price for goods and services bought by households in Canada each month.

March’s inflation figure will include the period where measures to slow the spread of COVID-19, such as closing shops and restaurants and encouraging Canadians to stay at home, began to take shape.

Economists on average expect a reading of 1.3 per cent for March, according to financial markets data firm Refinitiv.

That would be significantly lower than in February, which showed an increase of 2.2 per cent in the consumer price index compared with a year earlier.

A preliminary estimate by Statistics Canada has suggested the economy contracted by an unprecedented nine per cent in March, while more than a million jobs were lost.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published April 22, 2020.

The Canadian Press