Canadian inflation hits 30-year high at 4.8% in December

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Canada’s annual inflation rate accelerated again in December to hit a 30-year high, led by higher prices for food, vehicles and shelter, data showed.

Inflation rose to 4.8%, in line with expectations and up from 4.7% in November, Statistics Canada said. It was the ninth consecutive month in which headline inflation topped the Bank of Canada’s 1-3% targeted range.

That could bolster bets the central bank will start hiking interest rates next week, despite uncertainty around the impact of the Omicron coronavirus variant.

The CPI common measure, which the central bank says is the best gauge of the economy’s underperformance, rose to 2.1% from 2.0% in November. It last hit 2.1% in February 2012. CPI median rose to 3.0% and CPI trim climbed to 3.7% respectively.

The Canadian dollar touched a six-day high at 1.2451 to the U.S. unit, or 80.31 U.S. cents.

(Reporting by Julie Gordon in Ottawa; additional reporting by Fergal Smith in Toronto; Editing by Andrew Heavens and Bernadette Baum)

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