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Canada Producer Prices Slip in November

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By Robb M. Stewart

OTTAWA–Producer prices in Canada eased in November, led by energy products, and Canadian companies paid slightly less for raw materials.

Statistics Canada’s industrial product price index fell 0.4% in November from the month before, when the index advanced 2.4%. On a 12-month basis, the producer-price index increased 9.7%.

Excluding energy products, producer prices were unchanged on-month in November, the data agency said.

Energy and petroleum products prices fell 2.7% from the month before, with prices for finished motor gasoline and diesel fuel both lower. Market data show that the downward trend continued into the first half of December, Statistics Canada said.

The price of softwood lumber was down for a fourth consecutive month in November, in part a reflection of a cooling housing market in Canada and the U.S., and prices for motorized and recreational vehicles also slipped from October, the agency said. Prices rose for primary non-ferrous metal products, in part due to the appreciation of the Canadian currency against the U.S. dollar.

The industrial product price index measures the prices that manufacturers in Canada receive once their goods leave the plant. It doesn’t reflect the final prices consumers pay for goods on store shelves.

The raw materials price index, which tracks prices paid by manufacturers, was down 0.8% from October, driven by a fall in crude energy products that more than offset the largest month-over-month increase in prices for natural gas since the agency began measuring the index in 1980. Compared with a year earlier, prices for raw materials were up 8.0% in November.

Annual consumer inflation held steady in October after peaking in June, Statistics Canada said last month. The agency will release November’s consumer-price index on Wednesday.

The Bank of Canada, like the Federal Reserve, has aggressively raised interest rates this year to tackle inflation but recently signaled the rate cycle may be coming to an end. The central bank this month again lifted its monetary policy rate, bringing the cumulative increase this year to 4 percentage points for a key rate of 4.25%, the highest level in almost 15 years.

Write to Robb M. Stewart at robb.stewart@wsj.com

Credit: marketwatch.com

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