Inflation rate 1.6% for second month amid higher energy prices, lower food costs

The country's annual inflation rate once again rang in at 1.6 per cent last month as higher energy costs offset a seventh consecutive monthly decline in grocery prices.

Statistics Canada's latest consumer price index says higher prices for gasoline and natural gas were the biggest upward inflation drivers in April, year-over-year.

On the other hand, the agency says fresh produce and clothing applied the most downward pressure on the inflation rate.

Annual inflation was also 1.6 per cent in March and, according to Thomson Reuters, a consensus of economists had predicted 1.7 per cent inflation for April.

Statistics Canada is also releasing retail trade numbers that show total sales in March delivered a larger than expected rebound to increase by 0.7 per cent following a month-over-month contraction of 0.4 per cent in February.

The agency says total retail trade in March was nearly $48.3 billion thanks to stronger sales at motor vehicle and parts dealers.

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