Ottawa            -         Canadians paid 0.4 percent less for goods and services in May versus a year earlier, the government statistical agency said Wednesday.

Economists had forecast a 0.1 percent rise in the Consumer Price Index, following a 0.2 percent decline the previous month.

According to Statistics Canada, buying and insuring a vehicle cost more in May.

Gasoline prices also rebounded as pandemic restrictions eased and major oil-producing countries agreed to slash output, but prices were still down almost 30 percent year on year. Meat prices rose as well, in part due to temporary closures of several beef processing plants following COVID-19 outbreaks. And stockpiling of non-perishable foods drove up prices for canned tuna, flour and rice. Meanwhile, telephone costs dropped as wireless carriers offered specials for plans with higher data allowances.