While the rest of the world grapples with soaring food prices, the average Canadian’s grocery bill rose a scant 0.4 per cent last month compared with a year ago, according to Statistics Canada.
As lower prices for fresh fruits and vegetables helped offset higher costs of baked goods, the modest increase in food helped hold inflation in check, the federal agency noted.
Overall consumer price increases for 12 months dipped to 1.4 per cent in March, its slowest rate of gain since January 2007 and down from 1.8 per cent in February.
March was the fourth month in a row that inflation decelerated, paving the way for an expected half a percentage point cut in the Bank of Canada’s trend-setting lending rate next Tuesday, economists said yesterday.