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Canadian Retail Sales and Inflation

After recording flat sales in October, Canadian retail sales rose 1.7 per cent in November. All retail sub-sectors showed rising sales,  with the notable exception of gasoline stations where falling prices prompted the nominal value of sales to decline. In BC, retail sales were up 1.8 per cent on a monthly basis and 5.4 per cent compared to November 2014. Year-to-date, retail sales in the province are up 6.8 per cent over last year. 

The Consumer Price Index (CPI), which measures the rate of inflation in Canada,  rose 1.6 per cent in the 12 months to December, up 0.2 points from the previous month. After 13 straight declines, the transportation component of the index,  which contains gasoline prices, increased in December. Food prices were also higher, rising 4.1 per cent largely due to impact of the lower exchange rate. The Bank of Canada's core measure of inflation, which excludes volatile components like food and gasoline dipped slightly to 1.9 per cent from 2 per cent in November.  In BC, the provincial CPI was 1.9 per cent higher in the 12-months to December.

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