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Canada inflation rises 2.4 percent

OTTAWA, Nov 23 – Canadian consumer prices rose 2.4 percent in the 12 months to October — the largest increase in two years — Statistics Canada said Tuesday.

About half of the increase in the consumer price index, which tracks the average price of consumer goods and services purchased by households, was due to higher gasoline prices, up 8.8 percent year over year, the government agency said.

The inflation figure was slightly less than the 2.2 percent projected by most economists, after the index had risen 1.9 percent in September.

Prices of passenger vehicles were also up 4.9 percent in the month while vehicle insurance premiums increased 4.6 percent, Statistics Canada said.

Electricity rates rose 8.1 percent, natural gas prices increased 10.6 percent, property taxes were up 3.5 percent and homeowners\’ replacement costs increased 4.9 percent.

The interest portion of payments on outstanding mortgage debt, meanwhile, declined 3.0 percent.

Consumers also paid more for food, child care, toiletries and cosmetics, non-prescribed medicines, oral-hygiene products, and for the use of recreational facilities.

Furniture, computers, video equipment, women\’s clothing, children\’s clothing and footwear cost less during the month.

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