Review of Economic Statistics — October 19, 2018

Catalogue number: Catalogue number: 36-26-0001

Issue number: 2018006

Release date: October 19, 2018

Review of Economic Statistics — October 19, 2018 - Transcript

(The Statistics Canada symbol and Canada wordmark appear on screen with the title: "Review of Economic Statistics — October 19, 2018")

(Background music plays while title card with the text "Review of Economic Statistics" appears on screen.)

Peter Frayne: Welcome to the review of Economic Statistics. I’m Peter Frayne.

Guy Gellatly: I’m Guy Gellatly.

(Text on screen below presenters: "Peter Frayne, Head, Media Relations. Guy Gellatly, Principal Researcher.")

Peter Frayne: Guy, today we’re going to look at inflation numbers for September, and also retail trade manufacturing numbers for August. First, the September inflation numbers. They follow on stronger increases that we saw in July and August, 3%, 2.8%. What did we see happening in September?

Guy Gellatly: Peter, a sharp deceleration in that headline number. Consumer inflation slowing to 2.2% in September. And a couple of factors behind that deceleration. The first was a moderation in gas prices. If you look at the year-over-year increase in gas prices into September, not as large as what we had observed through the summer months. And one factor there, Peter, if you think back to last year, Hurricane Harvey basically boosting up gas prices in September of 2017. And that dampens the year-over-year increase that we saw into this September. A second factor behind that slower pace of inflation in September, a removal of some of those temporary factors that were boosting up the headline rate through the summer months. So think of higher prices for travel tours, for air transportation, both of those decelerating sharply in the September report.

(Text on screen below presenters: "Consumer inflation slowed to 2.2% in September.")

Peter Frayne: Picking up on the gasoline prices, during the summer months, excluding gasoline— the effect of gasoline — the inflation rate was increasing at 2.2%. There must have been some moderation of that in September.

Guy Gellatly: Indeed, there was. If you take gas prices out of the mix, consumer inflation would have come in at just under that 2% mark, slowing to 1.9%. Also note that all of the Bank of Canada’s core measures edged down in the September report as well.

Peter Frayne: Now, in July, retail trade, going to retail trade. In July, there was an increase as you kicked off the third-quarter numbers. Did that continue in August?

Guy Gellatly: No, a slight decline in retail. Retail sales edging down 0.1% in August, and a part of that decline really coming on lower sales at gasoline stations, and that effectively represents a decrease in the volume of gasoline being sold. So, what amounts effectively to a slower summer driving season. Also note the auto numbers. The auto numbers were up for the first time in three months in retail. So, if you take autos out of the mix, retail actually would have been down 0.4%.

(Text on screen below presenters: "Retail sales edged down 0.1% in August.")

Peter Frayne: Lastly, manufacturing increased in July. What was the story in August?

Guy Gellatly: Manufacturing sales down 0.4% in August. Lower sales at auto manufacturers a big part of that story, and that reflects some atypical shutdowns that we saw at some facilities in the month.

(Text on screen below presenters: "Manufacturing sale down 0.4% in August.")

Peter Frayne: So to recap, we got a slowdown in the inflation rate in September, and modest declines in retail trade and manufacturing.

Guy Gellatly: In August.

Peter Frayne: Right. Thank you, Guy. So for more information and any of these releases or anything else from Statistics Canada, consult our website.

(Background music plays while title card with the text "Review of Economic Statistics — October 19, 2018" appears on screen.)

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