Consumer Price Index

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October 2011 (Previous release)

Consumer prices rose 2.9% in the 12 months to October, led by higher prices for gasoline and food. This follows a 3.2% increase in September.

The 12-month change in the CPI and the CPI excluding food and energy

 The 12-month change in the CPI and the CPI excluding food and energy

Chart description: The 12-month change in the CPI and the CPI excluding food and energy

Energy prices increased 11.7% during the 12 months to October, easing from the 12.5% gain in September. On a year-over-year basis, gasoline prices rose 18.2%, after advancing 22.7% in September. Prices for fuel oil increased 22.1% in October, following a 27.4% rise the month before. Prices for electricity rose while prices for natural gas continued to decline.

Consumers paid 4.3% more for food in the 12 months to October, matching the gain posted in September.

Note to readers

The special aggregate "Energy" includes: electricity; natural gas; fuel oil and other fuels; gasoline; and fuel, parts and supplies for recreational vehicles.

The Bank of Canada's core index excludes eight of the Consumer Price Index's most volatile components (fruit, fruit preparations and nuts; vegetables and vegetable preparations; mortgage interest cost; natural gas; fuel oil and other fuels; gasoline; inter-city transportation; and tobacco products and smokers' supplies) as well as the effects of changes in indirect taxes on the remaining components.

Excluding food and energy, the Consumer Price Index (CPI) increased 1.5% in the 12 months to October, following a 1.9% advance the month before.

The 12-month change in the gasoline price index declines

 The 12-month change in the gasoline price index declines

Chart description: The 12-month change in the gasoline price index declines

Seasonally adjusted monthly CPI increases

On a seasonally adjusted monthly basis, consumer prices increased 0.3% from September to October, after rising 0.4% the month before. The transportation index, which includes the purchase of passenger vehicles, advanced 1.3%, matching the increase in September.

Seasonally adjusted monthly Consumer Price Index rises

 Seasonally adjusted monthly Consumer Price Index increases

Chart description: Seasonally adjusted monthly Consumer Price Index increases

The shelter index, which includes electricity, rose 0.6% in October, following a 0.4% decline in September. The food index went up 0.2% from September to October, matching the increase in the previous month.

12-month change: Prices up in all major components

On a year-over-year basis, prices increased in all eight major components in October. Transportation and food continued to post the largest gains.

Transportation and food post largest gains

 Transportation and food post largest increases

Chart description: Transportation and food post largest increases

The cost of transportation increased 6.7% in the 12 months to October, following a 7.9% gain in September. In addition to paying more for gasoline, consumers paid more in passenger vehicle insurance premiums and for the purchase of passenger vehicles.

Food prices rose 4.3% on a year-over-year basis in October. Consumers paid 4.9% more for food purchased from stores as prices increased for common staples, including meat, bread, fresh vegetables and dairy products. Prices for food purchased from restaurants also went up (+3.1%).

Shelter costs rose 1.5% in the 12 months to October, matching the gain posted in September. In addition to fuel oil and electricity, consumers paid more in homeowners' replacement costs. Property taxes increased 2.2% on a year-over-year basis in October 2011. This followed a 3.5% gain in October 2010.

Conversely, mortgage interest cost, which measures the change in the interest portion of payments on outstanding mortgage debt, decreased 1.3% after falling 1.8% the previous month.

Prices for household operations, furnishings and equipment rose 2.4% in the 12 months to October, while clothing and footwear prices increased 1.3%.

Provinces: Prices increase at slower rate in every province except Alberta

Consumer prices in October increased at a slower year-over-year rate in every province except for Alberta. Increases were recorded for gasoline and food purchased from stores in all provinces.

Prices rise at slower rate in every province except Alberta

 Prices increase at slower rate in every province except Alberta

Chart description: Prices increase at slower rate in every province except Alberta

In Ontario, consumer prices went up 2.7% in the 12 months to October, after advancing 3.4% the previous month. Ontario consumers paid 17.3% more for gasoline in October, after paying 24.2% more in September. Prices for passenger vehicle insurance premiums, homeowners' replacement costs and food purchased from restaurants also rose.

Prices in Quebec rose 3.3% on a year-over-year basis in October, following a 3.4% increase the month before. Gasoline prices went up 19.9%, following a 24.9% rise in September. Consumers also paid more for food purchased from restaurants, fuel oil and for the purchase of passenger vehicles.

In Alberta, prices advanced 3.4% in the 12 months to October, after gaining 2.8% in September. The October increase was led by higher prices for electricity, which have tended to be volatile in the province. Gasoline prices rose 17.9%, while the cost of property taxes and homeowners' home and mortgage insurance also advanced.

Prices in British Columbia went up 2.3% in the 12 months to October, following a 2.4% increase in September. Gasoline prices rose 17.8%. Consumers paid more for homeowners' home and mortgage insurance and for food purchased from restaurants.

Bank of Canada's core index

The Bank of Canada's core index rose 2.1% in the 12 months to October, following a 2.2% gain in September. Increases were recorded for food purchased from restaurants, passenger vehicle insurance premiums and for the purchase of passenger vehicles.

The seasonally adjusted monthly core index increased 0.2% in October, after rising 0.3% in September.

For a more detailed analysis, consult the publication The Consumer Price Index.

Available on CANSIM: tables 326-0009, 326-0012, 326-0015 and 326-0020 to 326-0022.

Definitions, data sources and methods: survey number 2301.

More information about the concepts and use of the CPI are also available online in Your Guide to the Consumer Price Index (62-557-X, free) from the Key resource module of our website under Publications.

The October 2011 issue of The Consumer Price Index, Vol. 90, no. 10 (62-001-X, free), is now available from the Key resource module of our website under Publications. A more detailed analysis of the CPI is available in this publication.

With this issue, data on inter-city indexes of retail price differentials for selected groups of consumer goods and services, appearing in Table 15 of the publication and in CANSIM table 326-0015, have been updated to October 2010.

The Consumer Price Index for November will be released on December 20.

For more information, or to enquire about the concepts, methods or data quality of this release, contact Statistics Canada's National Contact Centre (613-951-8116 or toll-free 1-800-263-1136; infostats@statcan.gc.ca), Communications Division.