Annual inflation steady as food prices rise and cheap gas helps consumer

by The Canadian Press Posted Sep 18, 2015 6:32 am MDT Last Updated Sep 18, 2015 at 12:00 pm MDT AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email Annual inflation steady as food prices rise and cheap gas helps consumer spending OTTAWA – Lower costs at the pump in August weren’t enough to offset a broad rise in consumer prices including higher prices for restaurant fare, according to the latest inflation report from Statistics Canada.The federal agency said on Friday that Canada’s annual inflation rate held steady at 1.3 per cent in August, unchanged from July.Food prices were the biggest contributor to inflation last month, rising 3.4 per cent, followed by household operations, which includes telecom services such as cable and Internet as well as home furnishings.Restaurant prices increased 2.8 per cent over last year, and prices for store-bought food increased four per cent — but there was some relief for meat-eaters, as the price of beef declined for the second straight month.StatCan’s household operations, furnishings and equipment index increased 2.5 per cent in the 12 months to August.Yet growth actually fell from July, when the index rose by 3.3 per cent, and the agency chalked up the difference to lower prices for telephone services.Seven of the eight components of the consumer price index posted gains, with transportation the only laggard as gas prices fell by 12.6 per cent in the 12 months to August.The transportation sector fell by 2.6 per cent overall as gasoline continued its slide that began late last year, and prices for new passenger vehicles increased less in August than in July.Inflation has been closely watched for signs of flagging consumer spending following the contraction in Canada’s GDP in the first half of the year that raised talk of a recession.RBC senior economist Nathan Janzen said the first-half recession didn’t spill over into the job market, so household incomes have held up despite the downturn.Combined with cheaper gas, that means the purchasing power of the average Canadian has actually gone up, he said.“It’s not surprising that households are still spending and as a result you’re still seeing enough consumer demand to prevent a lot of downward pressure on inflation outside of the energy sector,” he said.The Bank of Canada’s core index, which excludes some of the most volatile items, was up 2.1 per cent from a year ago.The Statistics Canada report was in line with analysts’ expectations.IHS Global Insight Canada economist Arlene Kish said in a research note that the inflation numbers appear to be close to the expectations laid out by the Bank of Canada in its monetary policy report in July.She said that indicates the central bank will sit back and let the market take its course after two rate cuts earlier this year.“There is little for the bank to do now but wait and see how the economy continues to adjust to commodity price volatility and weak global growth,” she wrote.— By Peter Henderson in TorontoFollow @henderburn on Twitter read more

Ituni residents lament little to no access to landline internet services

Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)RelatedKuru-Kururu residents without internet, landline servicesSeptember 8, 2018In “Business”President says access to justice will improve significantly in the Upper Demerara RegionAugust 4, 2017In “Court”Barnwell North residents to receive water for first time in over 15 yearsDecember 15, 2015In “Business” In an era where technology is rapidly expanding and various means of communication are constantly being developed, residents of the Region 10 (Upper Demerara-Berbice) community of Ituni say they feel as though they are being left behind.Several residents who spoke to this publication have expressed their frustration, noting that after years of living in the community, they are yet to receive landline services and/or internet access despite having applied a number of years ago. Many other residents related that while they did have access to landline service in their homes, they did not receive any internet access.Following residents’ complaints, comments were solicited from Community Development Officer Keisha Griffith, who noted that she has also received numerous complaints from residents, more so recently, regarding the issue.  Ituni residents noted that they were seeking answers from GTT and remained hopeful that systems could soon be put in place to allow access to landline and Internet services.“It’s like we have been forgotten. We are way behind with everything. Since they launch the cell site, we haven’t heard or seen any representative in our area. Landline is a problem. They have applications for persons years now and nothing…We don’t have any access to WiFi”, Griffith explained. She also noted that the cell site was set up in the community since 2008.An affected resident, Yetunde Pluck said her home was equipped with a landline telephone, but no Internet access. She said it was frustrating because her school aged children required the service to do research for School-Based Assignments.“My concern is mainly the Internet system. I have a landline and a few other people have landlines in Ituni, but I don’t know why they’re not sharing so that other people could get. I don’t know why we’re not entitled to get Internet access. They’re saying that it’s something with the tower…We have children attending secondary school. They come home every weekend. They have assignments to do and we don’t have Internet access to get the information for our children,” she lamented.Additionally, resident Johnquin Nurse said he had applied for landline service for a number of years, but had only received a letter stating that there was no available facility.“For the past years I’ve applied for a landline telephone with GTT and this is 2017, and I’m still waiting although I’ve applied since 2002. All I got was that there’s no facility and as soon as they have facilities, they’re going to come and hook us up. On to this day, we’re still waiting,” he noted.Similar sentiments were also expressed by other affected residents who noted that it was their hope that the relevant authorities would look into the situation so that improvements can be seen. (Utamu Belle) read more