A gas pump is shown at a filling station in Montreal earlier this spring. The country's annual inflation rate slowed to an unexpectedly weak 1.6 per cent last month as the continued decline in food prices played a big role in offsetting the higher cost of gasoline. File photo by THE CANADIAN PRESS

Annual pace of inflation slows as the price of gasoline levels out

Consumer price index for the final month of 2017 was up 1.9 per cent, officials say

Statistics Canada says the annual pace of inflation slowed in December compared with November as gains in the price of gasoline slowed.

The agency says the consumer price index for the final month of 2017 was up 1.9 per cent compared with the same month a year earlier. That compared with a reading of 2.1 per cent in November.

Excluding gasoline, prices were up 1.5 per cent year over year in December, matching the increase in November.

Prices were up in seven of the eight major catergories as the transportation index which includes gasoline and the shelter group led the way.

Transportation prices were up 4.9 per cent from a year ago compared with a 5.9 per cent increase in November. Gasoline, a key component of the group, climbed 12.2 per cent compared with a year earlier following a 19.6 per cent increase in November.

The shelter index climbed 1.4 per cent compared with a year ago as natural gas prices rose 6.2 per cent following a 3.1 per cent increase in November.

The Canadian Press

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