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Canada annual inflation hits six-year high of 2.5 percent in June

FILE PHOTO: A Canada Dollar note is seen in this June 22, 2017 illustration photo. REUTERS/Thomas White/Illustration/File Photo

OTTAWA (Reuters) - Canada's annual inflation rate rose to 2.5 percent in June from 2.2 percent in May, the highest mark in more than six years, thanks in part to rising prices for gasoline, Statistics Canada said on Friday.

The rate - above the 2.4 percent forecast by analysts in a Reuters poll - was the highest since the 2.6 percent recorded in February 2012. Annual inflation has now exceeded the Bank of Canada's 2.0 percent target for the fifth straight month.

The central bank, which says it will reduce stimulus as the economy strengthens, last week raised interest rates for the fourth time in a year and signaled more hikes to come. Its next fixed date rate announcement is on Sept. 5.

Energy prices rose by 12.4 percent from June 2017, higher than the year-on-year 11.6 percent increase in May, helped by a 24.6 percent jump in gasoline prices. Overall, seven of the eight major components grew at a quicker rate than they had done in May.

Two of the central bank's core inflation measures came in at 2.0 percent. CPI common, which the central bank says is the best gauge of the economy's underperformance, stayed unchanged at 1.9 percent.

(Reporting by David Ljunggren; Editing by Susan Thomas)

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