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Consumer price index in Canada climbed 1.7%

Staff writer |
Statistics Canada said that the consumer price index climbed 1.7% in April compared with a year ago and was up from a 1.3% increase in March.

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The Bank of Canada's core inflation, which excludes some of the most volatile items, also increased. up 2.2% compared with a year ago and higher than the 2.1% pace set in March.

In addition to inflation, Statistics Canada also reported Friday that retail sales fell 1.0% to $43.8 billion in March after posting gains in January and February. Economists had expected a drop of 0.6%, according to Thomson Reuters.

The weaker than expected retail sales figures followed lower manufacturing and wholesale sales results for March that were released earlier in the week.

The Bank of Montreal said it now expects the economy to contract in the second quarter due to the weak hand-off from the first three months of the year and the oilsands production shutdowns in Alberta due to forest fires.

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