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Canada CPI Preview: Inflation Expected to Rise to 3.1% in February

Canada CPI Preview: Inflation Expected to Rise to 3.1% in February

Canada’s Consumer Price Index (CPI), a key inflation indicator, is set for release on Tuesday, and analysts predict a slight uptick compared to January. This article dives into the details of the upcoming Canada CPI release, its potential impact on the Canadian Dollar (CAD), and the Bank of Canada‘s (BoC) monetary policy decisions.

Rising Inflation Expected in Canada CPI

Economists anticipate a year-on-year increase of 3.1% in February’s Canada CPI, exceeding January’s 2.9% rise. Monthly projections suggest a 0.6% increase, following January’s flat reading. These figures suggest a potential resumption of the upward inflation trend observed in Canada throughout 2023, mirroring trends in other G10 economies like the US.

Core CPI and Bank of Canada Policy

Alongside the headline CPI, the BoC’s Core CPI gauge, excluding volatile food and energy costs, will be released. In January, the Core CPI indicated a 0.1% monthly rise and a 2.4% annual increase. The BoC will closely monitor these statistics as they can influence the trajectory of the CAD and shape expectations regarding the Bank’s monetary policy.

Potential Impact on the Canadian Dollar

The anticipated rise in Canada’s CPI could lead investors to believe the BoC might maintain its current restrictive monetary stance for longer than initially predicted. However, additional tightening seems unlikely based on recent pronouncements from bank officials. A significant and sustained resurgence of price pressures, coupled with a rapid increase in consumer demand, would be necessary for further tightening.

Bank of Canada’s Stance on Inflation

During the latest BoC meeting, Governor Tiff Macklem expressed optimism regarding inflation control. He highlighted the importance of core inflation measures, suggesting that deviations from expectations could hinder overall inflation reduction plans. While acknowledging some risk to the inflation outlook, he emphasized well-anchored inflation expectations as a positive factor in regaining control.

Canada CPI Release Date and Impact on USD/CAD

The Canada CPI data release is scheduled for Tuesday at 12:30 GMT. The CAD’s response will likely hinge on any revisions to expectations surrounding the BoC’s monetary policy. Absent any major surprises, the BoC is expected to maintain its cautious stance, similar to other central banks like the Federal Reserve.

The USD/CAD has begun 2024 on a bullish note, but the uptrend seems to be facing resistance around the 1.3600 level. Analysts predict the USD/CAD will likely maintain its upward bias as long as it remains above the significant 200-day Simple Moving Average (SMA) at 1.3479. A sustained break above the yearly highs around 1.3600 could further strengthen the bullish sentiment. Conversely, a breach of the 200-day SMA could lead to declines towards the January low of 1.3358.

Significant Deviations from Expectations Can Trigger Market Volatility

Unexpected inflation figures could cause significant volatility in the CAD market. Lower-than-expected numbers could bolster arguments for potential interest rate cuts by the BoC in the coming months, potentially appreciating the USD/CAD. Conversely, a rebound in the CPI, similar to trends observed in the US, might offer some limited support to the CAD. A higher-than-anticipated inflation reading could intensify pressure on the BoC to maintain elevated rates for a longer period, potentially posing challenges for Canadians dealing with higher interest rates.


The upcoming Canada CPI release is keenly awaited by investors and policymakers. The data will influence the trajectory of the CAD and provide insights into the BoC’s future monetary policy decisions. While a slight increase in inflation is anticipated, significant deviations from expectations could trigger market volatility and impact the Canadian economy.


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