WRAPUP 2-Weak Canadian inflation revives talk of possible rate cut

Fri Sep 23, 2016 11:44am EDT
 
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* Annual inflation rate at 1.1 percent in August

* Household debt data a signal consumers under strain

* Bank of Canada cut interest rates twice last year (Adds details, reaction, analysis)

By David Ljunggren

OTTAWA, Sept 23 (Reuters) - Canada's annual inflation rate in August dipped to a 10-month low and retail sales unexpectedly fell in July, disappointing markets and reviving talk that the Bank of Canada was more inclined to ease monetary policy than tighten.

The data, which reflect the impact of low prices for oil - a key Canadian export - underscore the increasing economic divergence with the United States. The Federal Reserve is expected to raise interest rates by the end of the year.

Statscan said on Friday that the annual inflation rate in August dropped to 1.1 percent, the seventh consecutive month it has stayed below the Bank of Canada's 2.0 percent target.

Analysts in a Reuters poll forecast the rate would rise to 1.4 percent from 1.3 percent in July.

The closely-watched core rate, which strips out the price of some volatile items, fell to 1.8 percent from 2.1 percent, its lowest level for two years.   Continued...