The unemployment rate is now close to the pre-recession peak of 10.9 per cent

Canadian Press NewsAlert: Inflation rate 6.9% in Sept. as grocery bills climb

Published Thursday, August 12, 2007

The national consumer price index increased to 6.9 per cent in September, the Bank of Canada announced last week. The index increased 1.5 per cent during the month, the first rise in seven months and the first increase since April of this year.

The index is based on Statistics Canada’s price and cost data for personal consumption expenditures, which measure how much families spend on things like food and services.

Economists had estimated a slight increase of 0.2 per cent.

Despite an increase, the number of people seeking unemployment benefits ticked down last week to 4,700 from 4,800 the previous week.

With the index up, Canadian employment edged up 0.2 per cent in September, while real wages remained unchanged.

Retailers have reported a 2.3 per cent increase in sales, and are expecting another 3.5 per cent increase this month.

The increase in the CPI figure is the largest in two years. The largest increase in prices came in June, when the index jumped to 6.8 per cent, the fastest increase since February of 1996. The CPI increased 0.8 per cent in June, compared with the July figure of 0.4 per cent.

The Canadian unemployment rate increased 0.2 percentage points to 10.3 per cent in September from 10.2 per cent the previous month.

In the United States, the headline jobless rate stayed steady in August, as more people gained unemployment insurance benefits than were leaving the system.

In Canada, about 3.4 million Canadians are out of work, with the average length of a jobless spell lasting 27 weeks. With a labour force of 17.6 million, that’s about 1.5 million unemployed and short-term jobless.

The unemployment rate is now close to the pre-recession peak of 10.9 per cent reached in 2009.

The Bank of Canada, after meeting with the Bank of Newfoundland and Labrador and the Bank of Nova Scotia, also released figures on the money in circulation, which fell for a second month in a row.

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