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Canada. Consumer prices rise

Consumer prices rose 1.0% in the 12 months to November, following a 0.1% increase in October.

The rise in the all-items Consumer Price Index (CPI) was due primarily to gasoline prices. Prices at the pump are now exerting upward pressure on the CPI after an extended period in which they were the main contributors to year-over-year declines in overall consumer prices.

In November, gasoline prices were 14.1% higher than they were in November 2008. This follows a 13.1% decline between October 2008 and October 2009.

Overall, energy prices rose 1.3% between November 2008 and November 2009, following a 12.7% decline the month before.

Seasonally adjusted monthly CPI increases

On a seasonally adjusted monthly basis, the CPI went up 0.6% from October to November, after rising 0.4% from September to October. November's increase was due mainly to a 1.8% rise in the transportation index.

The seasonally adjusted monthly CPI has gone up in six of the past seven months.

12-month change: Seven of the eight major components in the CPI record increases

Except for shelter, all major components of the CPI recorded price increases in November. The three components exerting the greatest upward pressure on the CPI were transportation, household operations, furnishings and equipment, and food.

Transportation prices, which rose 1.9% in the 12 months to November, exerted the largest upward pressure on the CPI due primarily to higher gasoline prices. It was the first 12-month increase for this component since October 2008.

In addition to higher prices at the pump, consumers paid 7.8% more for passenger vehicle insurance premiums. However, prices for passenger vehicles were 6.0% lower than the same period last year.

The cost of household operations, furnishing and equipment rose 2.8% during the 12-month period to November. Upward pressure came from communications, child care and domestic services, furniture and household textiles, household appliances, and other household goods and services.

Food prices rose 1.7%, following a 2.3% increase in October. November's advance was the smallest since April 2008.

Prices for dairy products and eggs rose 2.1% while prices for fish, seafood and other marine products rose 5.4%. Prices for food purchased from restaurants went up 2.7%. On the other hand, prices fell for fresh fruit (-5.7%) and fresh vegetables (-5.9%).

Recreation, education and reading costs advanced 1.8% in the 12 months to November. Major contributors to the increase were tuition fees and reading material and other printed material. In contrast, prices for computer equipment and supplies and other electronic equipment items such as video, audio, and photographic equipment continued to fall.

Broad-based price advances occurred in the health and personal care component (+3.2%).

Shelter costs declined 1.7% between November 2008 and November 2009. This drop was mainly the result of price decreases in natural gas (-29.7%) and fuel oil and other fuels (-10.6%). Unlike gasoline, prices for natural gas and fuel oil and other fuels were still exerting downward pressure on the CPI in November.

Downward movements from homeowners' replacement cost (-2.1%) and mortgage interest cost were also recorded.

The mortgage interest cost index, which measures the change in the interest portion of payments on outstanding mortgage debt, fell 4.0% in November, following a 3.1% decrease in October.

On the other hand, homeowners' maintenance and repairs costs and property taxes both increased by 4.3% in November.

Provinces: Consumer prices up in all provinces
Consumer prices rose in all provinces in the 12 months to November. The largest increases occurred in New Brunswick (+2.2%), Prince Edward Island (+1.9%), Nova Scotia (+1.7%), and Quebec (+1.7%).

Consumers in all Atlantic provinces saw price increases between November 2008 and November 2009. Increases in the all-items CPI in these provinces were mostly due to higher gasoline prices and less downward pressure from fuel oil and other fuels.

Price increases in Quebec were driven by higher prices for gasoline and food purchased from restaurants.

In Ontario, prices rose 1.0%. This growth was primarily due to the rise in gasoline prices (+17.5%) and passenger vehicle insurance premiums (+11.6%). Price decreases for natural gas eased the upward pressure.

Prices in British Columbia rose 0.1%. This was the first 12-month increase in the province since May 2009.

12-month change in the Bank of Canada's core index
The Bank of Canada's core index advanced 1.5% over the 12 months to November, following a 1.8% rise in October.

The seasonally adjusted monthly core index increased 0.2% from October to November, following a 0.3% increase in October.
© Statistics Canada -

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