By Paul Vieira

OTTAWA--Bank of Canada Gov. Tiff Macklem says inflation is getting "closer to normal" and officials will monitor incoming data to check whether the downward momentum can be maintained.

Speaking to reporters in Canada via teleconference from Washington, D.C., Macklem said inflation data covering the month of March was a step in the right direction. For the third straight month, total inflation was under 3%, or the upper end of the Bank of Canada's inflation-targeting range, and core prices--excluding volatile items like food and energy--eased.

The Bank of Canada sets its rate policy to maintain 2% inflation. The central bank left its benchmark interest rate unchanged at 5% last week, and Macklem said a cut in June was a possibility.

"Between now and our June decision, we'll get further pieces of data. And we're going to be looking for evidence that the progress [on inflation] is sustained," Macklem said Friday, on the sidelines of the annual spring meetings of the International Monetary Fund and World Bank.

"We're encouraged by the progress we've made. We just need to see it for longer to be confident that the progress toward price stability will be maintained."

Write to Paul Vieira at

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

04-19-24 1545ET