Canadian underlying inflation hit the highest in a decade in November, reinforcing a decision by policy makers this month to refrain from cutting interest rates despite concerns around slowing growth.
Inflation rose 2.2 per cent in November from a year earlier, compared with 1.9 per cent in October, on higher shelter and vehicle costs, Statistics Canada reported Wednesday. The annual reading matched economist expectations. On a monthly basis, the consumer price index fell 0.1 per cent, also matching forecasts.
Core inflation — seen as a better measure of underlying price pressure than the headline figure — increased 2.2 per cent, the highest reading since 2009, from 2.1 per cent in October.
Wednesday’s report bears out the view from the Bank of Canada, which said in its December rate statement that inflation would increase temporarily in the coming months, due to year over year movements in gasoline prices.
“Should gasoline prices remain stable, the headline inflation rate should also cool back down in the second quarter of next year, as the year-ago comparisons become a bit firmer,” Royce Mendes, an economist at Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce, wrote in a note.
Canada’s currency rose on the report, appreciating 0.2 per cent to $1.3132 per U.S. dollar at 8:47 a.m. Toronto time.
- Canada’s CPI has grown at 1.9 per cent or more on an annual basis for nine straight months, backing the Bank of Canada’s stance to remain patient and leave rates unchanged
- Mortgage interest costs, driven by new lending, and higher prices for passenger vehicles were the largest contributors to the 12-month change in prices; telephone and internet access services were the main downward contributors
- Energy prices rose 1.5 per cent on an annual basis in November, on a weak comparison from a year earlier when gasoline prices were dropping due to the global supply glut
- Consumers paid 6.2 per cent more for fresh or frozen beef in November from a year earlier; the price gains follow disruptions to North American supply chains and strong international demand for Canadian beef
- Following the end of export bans on Canadians pork, consumers paid more on an annual basis for ham and bacon, fresh or frozen pork in November from the prior month
- On a monthly basis, passenger vehicles, fresh fruit and vegetables were the main upward contributors, while travel tours and traveler accommodation weighed on the downside, as package deals to holiday destinations became cheaper
- Goods inflation at 2.3 per cent is the highest since August 2018
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FDA says kid-sized Pfizer vaccine doses appear highly effective, safe – CBC.ca
U.S. health regulators said late Friday that kid-size doses of Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine appear highly effective at preventing symptomatic infections in elementary school children and caused no unexpected safety issues, as the country weighs beginning vaccinations in youngsters.
The Food and Drug Administration posted its analysis of Pfizer’s data ahead of a public meeting next week to debate whether the shots are ready for the nation’s roughly 28 million children ages 5 to 11. The agency will ask a panel of outside vaccine experts to vote on that question.
In their analysis, FDA scientists concluded that in almost every scenario the vaccine’s benefit for preventing hospitalizations and death from COVID-19 would outweigh any serious potential side effects in children. But agency reviewers stopped short of calling for Pfizer’s shot to be authorized.
The agency will put that question to its panel of independent advisers next Tuesday and weigh their advice before making its own decision.
U.S. children could begin vaccinations next month
If the FDA authorizes the shots, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention will make additional recommendations on who should receive them the first week of November. Children could begin vaccinations early next month — with the first youngsters in line fully protected by Christmas.
Full-strength Pfizer shots already are recommended for anyone 12 or older, but pediatricians and many parents are anxiously awaiting protection for younger children to stem infections from the extra-contagious delta variant and help keep kids in school.
WATCH | Pfizer releases clinical trial data for COVID-19 vaccine for children aged 5 to 11:
The FDA review affirmed results from Pfizer posted earlier in the day showing the two-dose shot was nearly 91 per cent effective at preventing symptomatic infection in young children. Researchers calculated the figure based on 16 COVID-19 cases in youngsters given dummy shots versus three cases among vaccinated children. There were no severe illnesses reported among any of the youngsters, but the vaccinated ones had much milder symptoms than their unvaccinated counterparts.
Most of the study data was collected in the U.S. during August and September, when the delta variant had become the dominant COVID-19 strain.
No new side effects
The FDA review found no new or unexpected side effects, which mostly consisted of sore arms, fever or achiness that teens experience.
However, FDA scientists noted that the study wasn’t large enough to detect extremely rare side effects, including myocarditis, a type of heart inflammation that occasionally occurs after the second dose.
The agency used statistical modelling to try to predict how many hospitalizations and deaths from COVID-19 the vaccine would prevent versus the number of potential heart side effects it might cause. In four scenarios of the pandemic, the vaccine clearly prevented more hospitalizations than would be expected from the heart side effect. Only when virus cases were extremely low would the vaccine cause more hospitalizations than it would prevent. But overall, regulators concluded that the vaccine’s protective benefits “would clearly outweigh” its risks.
While children run a lower risk of severe illness or death than older people, COVID-19 has killed more than 630 Americans 18 and under, according to the CDC. Nearly 6.2 million children have been infected with the coronavirus, more than 1.1 million in the last six weeks as the delta variant surged, the American Academy of Pediatrics says.
The Biden administration has purchased enough kid-size doses — in special orange-capped vials to distinguish them from adult vaccine — for the nation’s 5- to 11-year-olds. If the vaccine is cleared, millions of doses will be promptly shipped around the country, along with kid-size needles.
More than 25,000 pediatricians and primary care providers already have signed up to get the shots into little arms.
Edward Rogers’ role as Blue Jays chair unchanged amid changes atop RCI – Sportsnet.ca
TORONTO — Edward Rogers’ roles as chair of the Toronto Blue Jays and control person with Major League Baseball are unaffected by this week’s manoeuvrings that led to his removal as board chair of parent company Rogers Communications Inc., according to two industry sources.
Whether fallout from the power struggle atop the telecom giant, which also owns Sportsnet, might eventually reach the club is unclear. Last week, Blue Jays president and CEO Mark Shapiro said the team was “about a month away” from presenting its off-season plan during a final payroll meeting with ownership, and expressed confidence that its long-term strategic objectives would remain on track.
“Every indication I’ve received and every indication that we’ve been shown … leads me to believe that we will stay on plan and the payroll will continue to rise despite the fact that we’re still lagging behind a little bit in revenues due to (the pandemic),” Shapiro said.
Those comments came before news broke that John MacDonald, a member of the Rogers Board of Directors since 2012, had assumed the chairman role in place of Edward Rogers, who according to media reports had sought to oust company CEO Joe Natale.
Edward Rogers is now seeking to replace five board members.
At this point, the sources said the developments aren’t expected to impact a winter of opportunity for the Blue Jays, who are seeking to augment a club that missed the post-season by one game and are about to see top performers Marcus Semien, Robbie Ray and Steven Matz hit free agency.
Shapiro is close with Edward Rogers, who as chair is the top officer of the club. He is also the control person, a role each of the 30 MLB teams assigns to represent the interests of that ownership.
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