Canada's annual inflation rate hit a six-year high of 2.5% in June while May retail sales jumped.

Statistics Canada on Friday said rising gas prices had helped boost the annual inflation rate to its highest since it stood at 2.6% in February 2012. The market had forecast a rate of 2.4%.

The central bank, which says it will reduce stimulus as the economy strengthens, last week raised interest rates for the fourth time in a year and signaled more hikes to come. Its next fixed date rate announcement is on September 5.

Annual inflation has now exceeded the Bank of Canada's 2.0% target for a fifth straight month.

Two of the central bank's core inflation measures came in at 2.0%. CPI common, which the central bank says is the best gauge of the economy's underperformance, stayed unchanged at 1.9%.

Separately, Statscan said Canadian retail trade in May jumped 2.0%, its biggest increase in seven months, on sales at auto dealers and gasoline stations.

The healthy retail sales were stronger than the 1.1% median forecast. is an independent macroeconomic consultancy with thousands of subscribers all over the world. We provide fundamental research to help our clients make better investing decisions. Our subscribers should expect to get access to:

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