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Canada inflation may have peaked but still too high -BoC's Macklem

·2 min read
Bank of Canada Governor Tiff Macklem takes part in a news conference in Ottawa

By Julie Gordon

OTTAWA (Reuters) - Canadian inflation may have peaked, but it remains far too high, Bank of Canada Governor Tiff Macklem said in a newspaper op-ed on Tuesday, after official data showed annual price increases eased to 7.6% in July from 8.1% in June.

Macklem, in a commentary piece published on the National Post newspaper's website, said the central bank was "determined" to "eliminate" high inflation and that its job would not be done until it was back at the 2% target.

"Inflation in Canada has come down a little, but it remains far too high," Macklem said.

"The good news is that it looks like inflation may have peaked ... The bad news is that inflation will likely remain too high for some time," he added.

Gasoline and other commodities that drove prices sharply higher in recent months appear to be slowing. If that trend persists, inflation will continue to ease, Macklem said.

Still, many of the global factors driving inflation will not go away quickly and Canada's economy is still running too hot as people demand more than businesses can provide, he said.

"As the central bank, it’s our job to control inflation and that means we need to cool things down. That’s why we have been raising interest rates since March," said Macklem. The bank hiked interest rates by a rare 100-basis points in July, its fourth increase in a row.

"The best way to protect people from high inflation is to eliminate it. That’s our job, and we are determined to do it," he said. "We know our job is not done yet — it won’t be done until inflation gets back to the 2% target."

The Canadian dollar was trading 0.3% higher at 1.2864 to the U.S. dollar, or 77.74 U.S. cents.

(Reporting by Julie Gordon in Ottawa; Editing by Mark Porter and Tomasz Janowski)