October 16, 2019 / 12:45 PM / a month ago

UPDATE 1-Canadian inflation holds steady at 1.9% in September

(Adds details from report)

OTTAWA, Oct 16 (Reuters) - Canada’s annual inflation rate held steady at 1.9% in September, Statistics Canada said on Wednesday in its last major release of economic data before a national vote on Monday.

Analysts in a Reuters poll had forecast an inflation rate of 2.1%.

Canada is in the midst of a tight national election campaign with polls showing the governing Liberals are in a statistical tie with the opposition Conservatives, who have focused their campaign on issues related to the cost-of-living and affordability. Canadians vote on Oct. 21.

Statistics Canada said prices for goods rose 1.3% year-over-year in September while prices for services increased by 2.2%.

Meanwhile, consumer prices for gasoline fell 10.0% year-over-year in September following a 10.2% decrease in August. The agency said the decline was partially due to continued low global demand for oil as well as refineries switching from summer-blend gasoline to the less expensive winter blend.

Canada’s central bank has held its overnight interest rate steady since October 2018, citing strong domestic economic data. The Bank of Canada’s next rate decision is set for Oct. 30.

CPI common, which the central bank says is the best gauge of the economy’s underperformance, was at 1.9%. CPI median, which shows the median inflation rate across CPI components, was at 2.2%, while CPI trim, which excludes upside and downside outliers, was at 2.1%. August’s CPI trim was revised down to 2.0% from 2.1%

Reporting by Kelsey Johnson, Editing by Dale Smith and Chizu Nomiyama

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