March 20, 2015 / 12:47 PM / 4 years ago

Canada Feb inflation holds at 1 percent as gasoline weighs

A fuel pump is seen in a car at a gas station in Toronto April 22, 2014. REUTERS/Mark Blinch

OTTAWA (Reuters) - Canada’s annual inflation rate held at the lower end of the Bank of Canada’s target range in February as it was pressured by cheaper gasoline prices, data from Statistics Canada showed on Friday.

The annualized rate was 1 percent last month, matching January’s rate and in line with economists’ forecasts.

That kept inflation at its lowest since November 2013. The Bank of Canada, which has a target range of 1 percent to 3 percent, expects total inflation will be below 1 percent for much of this year.

Core inflation, which strips out volatile items and is closely watched by the central bank, edged down to an annualized 2.1 percent from 2.2 percent.

Lower gasoline prices were the largest downward contributor for the consumer price index, falling 21.8 percent on a year-over-year basis, though that was not as steep as January’s annual decline of 26.9 percent.

Prices rose in seven of the index’s eight major components, led by food and shelter costs.

On a monthly basis, total inflation rose 0.9 percent, while core inflation was up 0.6 percent.

Reporting by Leah Schnurr; Editing by Bernadette Baum

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