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Canada inflation ticks higher in March to 2.9%

Canada halting arms shipments to Israel: govt official
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Inflation in Canada rose to 2.9 percent in March led by higher gasoline prices, the government statistical agency said Tuesday.

The 0.1 percentage point increase from 2.8 percent the previous month was largely expected after consumer inflation in the United States — Canada’s neighbor and biggest trading partner — accelerated last week.

Rising costs of living are proving to be the biggest obstacle to both Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and US President Joe Biden’s re-election hopes.

Biden is facing Donald Trump in a tight race to a November ballot while Trudeau trails his main rival, Conservative leader Pierre Poilievre, by more than 10 points in public opinion polls with an election looming in 2025.

Trudeau’s Liberal government is to unveil its 2024 budget later in the day with tens of billions of dollars in new spending aimed at helping to ease the impacts of rising prices — notably for homes — on Canadians.

Political pundits have said interest rates and prices overall must come down in the coming 18 months if Trudeau is to have any chance of convincing voters to continue supporting his minority government.

According to Statistics Canada, year over year gasoline prices increased 4.5 percent in March, following an 0.8 percent rise in February.

New home prices fell slightly in the month but not enough to offset a jump in mortgage interest costs.

Rents were up too, along with air transportation, clothing and footwear, and passenger vehicle insurance premiums.

Telephone and Internet services, as well as natural gas prices, meanwhile, fell.

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Agence France-Presse (AFP) is a French international news agency headquartered in Paris, France. Founded in 1835 as Havas, it is the world's oldest news agency.

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