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Rate of inflation rises as COVID-19 restrictions eased in June

Last Updated Jul 22, 2020 at 10:08 am EDT

Statistics Canada's offices at Tunny's Pasture in Ottawa are shown on Friday, March 8, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Justin Tang

Consumer price index for June was up 0.7 per cent compared with a year ago

Rise in inflation coincides with easing of many COVID-19 restrictions in Canada

Increase in CPI comes after two months of negative readings

OTTAWA – The consumer price index had registered two months of negative readings leading up to June, first with 0.2 per cent annualized decline in April, then a further 0.4 per cent drop in May.

The average economist estimate from data firm Refinitiv forecasted an annualized inflation rate of 0.3 per cent for the month.

The turnaround from May to June matched the fastest acceleration in the headline inflation reading since March 2011.

Fuelling the rise was an increase in clothing and footwear after two months of declines as brick-and-mortar stores were closed due to COVID-19, while gasoline prices declined at a slower pace as economies reopened.

Statistics Canada says that excluding gasoline, the consumer price index rose 1.2 per cent in June.