WRAPUP 2-Canada inflation picks up but still in danger zone

Fri Dec 20, 2013 11:35am EST
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* Inflation rate 0.9 pct in Nov, below Bank of Canada target

* Core inflation slips on month for 1.1 pct annual rate

* Bank of Canada seen staying vigilant on low inflation

* Retail sales unexpectedly slip 0.1 pct in October

By Louise Egan

OTTAWA, Dec 20 (Reuters) - Canada's annual inflation rate crept up to 0.9 percent in November from 0.7 percent in October but it remained below the central bank's target range, ensuring that chronically weak inflation will stay on policymakers' radar as a top concern.

The Canadian dollar weakened to a 3-1/2-year low against the U.S. dollar after the Statistics Canada inflation report, which confirmed analysts' expectations that steep discounting by retailers around "Black Friday" would prevent inflation from gaining much momentum in the near term.

A separate report from Statscan on retail sales in October showed unexpected weakness in the sector as purchases of cars declined.

The consumer price index was flat month on month, with the annual CPI rate pushed higher mainly by shelter and food costs, while prices fell for health and personal care as well as for clothing and footwear.   Continued...