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Canada. Consumer prices rise

Consumer prices rose 2.3% in the 12 months to December, following a 2.9% increase in November.

The 0.6 percentage point difference was led by a slower increase in gasoline prices as well as declines for the purchase of passenger vehicles. A slower year-over-year increase for food was also a factor.

The 12-month change in the CPI and the CPI excluding gasoline

The cost of gasoline rose 7.6% in the 12 months to December, after advancing 13.5% in November. Gasoline prices have declined steadily on a monthly basis starting in June.

On a year-over-year basis, prices for the purchase of passenger vehicles fell 0.2% in December following a 1.8% rise the month before. On a monthly basis, prices declined 2.3% as manufacturers continued to offer discounts on various vehicles, including new 2012 models.

Consumers paid 4.4% more for food in the 12 months to December, following a 4.8% increase the month before. The year-over-year change for food purchased from stores eased in December to a 5.0% gain from 5.7% in November.

12-month change: Prices up in all major components

On a year-over-year basis, prices rose in all eight major components in December. Transportation and food continued to post the largest increases.

Prices rise at slower rate in five of the major components

The cost of transportation went up 3.3% in the 12 months to December, after rising 5.7% in November. The December gain was the smallest increase in over a year. The slower rise was largely attributable to a slower year-over-year increase in gasoline prices as well as price decreases posted for the purchase of passenger vehicles.

Food prices rose 4.4% in the 12 months to December. Consumers paid more for food purchased from stores as prices increased for common staples, including meat (+5.3%), fresh vegetables (+11.1%) and bread (+8.8%).

Shelter costs rose 1.8% in the 12 months to December. This followed a 1.5% increase posted in November. The index for electricity went up 5.4%, led by price increases in Alberta. Consumers also paid more for fuel oil and homeowners' replacement costs. Conversely, mortgage interest cost decreased 0.7% year-over-year in December after falling 1.1% the month before.

Provinces: Gasoline and food purchased from stores still major factors in every province

Consumer prices rose at a slower rate in December in every province except for Prince Edward Island, where the 12-month increase matched the gain the month before. New Brunswick (+3.3%) posted the largest increase while British Columbia (+1.7%) recorded the smallest gain. Gasoline and food purchased from stores continued to be major factors in all provinces.

Prices increase at slower rate in every province except for Prince Edward Island

Seasonally adjusted monthly Consumer Price Index declines
On a seasonally adjusted monthly basis, consumer prices decreased 0.2% from November to December, after rising 0.1% from October to November. The transportation index, which includes gasoline and the purchase of passenger vehicles, fell 1.1% in December after increasing 0.3% the month before.

Seasonally adjusted monthly Consumer Price Index declines

The clothing and footwear index decreased 0.1% while the shelter index rose 0.4%. The indexes for health and personal care as well as food also increased in December.

Bank of Canada's core index

The Bank of Canada's core index rose 1.9% in the 12 months to December, after increasing 2.1% in November. Increases were recorded for food purchased from restaurants and passenger vehicle insurance premiums, while prices for the purchase of passenger vehicles declined.

The seasonally adjusted monthly core index posted no change in December.

Annual review of the 2011 Consumer Price Index

In 2011, the annual average increase in consumer prices was 2.9%, following a 1.8% rise in 2010. The faster growth in 2011 was largely attributable to higher prices for gasoline and food. The 2011 increase was slightly higher than the annual average growth rates observed in the early 2000s.

© Statistics Canada -


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