May 19, 2017 / 12:49 PM / 3 months ago

UPDATE 1-Canada inflation rate holds at 1.6 pct in April; food falls again

(Adds details from report)

OTTAWA, May 19 (Reuters) - Canada's annual inflation rate held steady in April as higher energy prices offset a decline in food costs for the seventh month in a row, data from Statistics Canada showed on Friday.

The annual inflation rate was 1.6 percent, matching the previous month's figure and just missing economists' forecasts of an uptick to 1.7 percent.

The three new measures of core inflation that the Bank of Canada set last year remained muted.

The CPI (Consumer Price Index) common, which the central bank says is the best gauge of the economy's underperformance, held at 1.3 percent.

CPI median, which shows the median inflation rate across the various components, edged down at 1.6 percent, while CPI trim, which excludes upside and downside outliers, dipped to 1.3 percent.

Overall, prices were up in six of the eight major components of the total inflation measure, with gasoline prices increasing 15.9 percent from a year earlier amid supply disruptions at oil refineries.

The decline in food prices was broad-based, with cheaper fresh fruit and vegetables, meat and dairy products sending the segment down 1.1 percent. Still, the downward pace moderated from the previous month's annual 1.9 percent drop.

Reporting by Leah Schnurr; Editing by Lisa Von Ahn

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