Inflation Cools, Clothing Main Factor

Information released early Friday, shows the cost of living increased by 1.6% in the 12 months leading up to the end of March, slightly lower than the rate seen in February, as the price of food and clothing declined.

Figures from Statistics Canada showed that prices for food were down on a year-over-year basis for the sixth consecutive month, dropping 1.9% during the month.

The agency reported that women's clothing grew 1% cheaper in March, after decreasing by 3.5% in February. Children's clothing is also getting cheaper, down by 4.4% in the year ended March.

Transportation-related costs, meanwhile, continued to increase, led by a steady march higher for gasoline prices.

Gasoline prices were more than 15% higher in March than they were the same month a year ago, or down from a 23% annual increase seen in February.