Consumer Price Index, January 2013

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The Consumer Price Index (CPI) rose 0.5% in the 12 months to January, following a 0.8% gain in December. The main factor in the smaller increase in the CPI was gasoline prices, which fell 1.8% year-over-year in January after rising 1.0% in December.

Provincially, the largest year-over-year decreases in gasoline prices occurred in Saskatchewan (-8.8%) and Alberta (-7.3%), while Prince Edward Island (+1.5%) was the lone province to record an increase.

Chart 1 
The 12-month change in the gasoline index
Chart 1: The 12-month change in the gasoline index

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

CSV version of chart 1

Excluding gasoline, the CPI increased 0.6% in the 12 months to January after rising 0.8% in December. This slower increase was led by year-over-year price declines for clothing and smaller price gains for food purchased from stores.

Chart 2 
The 12-month change in the Consumer Price Index (CPI) and the CPI excluding gasoline
Chart 2: The 12-month change in the Consumer Price Index (CPI) and the CPI excluding gasoline

Chart description: The 12-month change in the Consumer Price Index (CPI) and the CPI excluding gasoline

CSV version of chart 2

12-month change in the major components

Consumer prices rose in six of the eight major components in the 12 months to January. The exceptions were transportation as well as clothing and footwear.

Chart 3 
Prices fall for transportation as well as clothing and footwear
Chart 3: Prices fall for transportation as well as clothing and footwear

Chart description: Prices fall for transportation as well as clothing and footwear

CSV version of chart 3

Food prices increased 1.1% on a year-over-year basis in January following a 1.5% advance in December. This slower rise was mainly attributable to easing price increases for food purchased from stores, notably meat. January's 0.6% year-over-year advance in the food purchased from stores component was the smallest since July 2010.

Shelter costs rose 0.6% in the 12 months to January, matching the increase in December. Rent and homeowners' replacement cost was up on a year-over-year basis. Conversely, mortgage interest cost decreased 4.2%.

Prices for transportation declined 0.5% in the 12 months to January, after increasing 0.5% in December. In addition to a year-over-year price decrease for gasoline, prices for the purchase of passenger vehicles fell 0.8%.

Prices for clothing and footwear fell 1.6% on a year-over-year basis in January following a 0.1% increase the previous month. The decline in clothing and footwear prices was attributable to more sale prices in January 2013 compared with January 2012.

12-month change in the provinces

Consumer prices rose in all provinces in the 12 months to January, except in Alberta.

Chart 4 
Prices decline in Alberta
Chart 4: Prices decline in Alberta

Chart description: Prices decline in Alberta

CSV version of chart 4

Consumer prices in Alberta fell 0.5% in the 12 months to January following no price change the previous month. This decline was led by electricity prices, which were 29.5% below the historical highs recorded in January 2012.

In Nova Scotia, consumer prices rose 1.4% on a year-over-year basis in January, the largest increase among the provinces. The province also had the largest year-over-year price advance for homeowners' home and mortgage insurance.

Prices in Prince Edward Island rose 1.3% in the 12 months to January following a 1.2% increase the previous month. Prince Edward Island was the only province where the All-items CPI increased at a faster rate in January than in December, led by a year-over-year advance in fuel oil prices.

In Quebec, consumer prices rose 0.6% on a year-over-year basis in January, after increasing 1.5% in December. The slower rise was led by gasoline prices, which fell 1.5% in the 12 months to January after advancing 1.8% in December. The year-over-year decrease in the purchase of passenger vehicles index was also a factor.

Seasonally adjusted monthly CPI decreases

On a seasonally adjusted monthly basis, the CPI decreased 0.1% in January after posting no change in December.

Chart 5 
Seasonally adjusted monthly Consumer Price Index decreases
Chart 5: Seasonally adjusted monthly Consumer Price Index decreases

Chart description: Seasonally adjusted monthly Consumer Price Index decreases

CSV version of chart 5

The seasonally adjusted index for transportation declined 0.2% in January following a 0.5% decrease in December. The clothing and footwear index decreased 0.8% in January and the food index fell 0.1%. Conversely, the indexes for shelter, household operations, furnishings and equipment as well as alcoholic beverages and tobacco products increased.

Bank of Canada's core index

The Bank of Canada's core index rose 1.0% in the 12 months to January, following a 1.1% gain in December.

On a monthly basis, the seasonally adjusted core index rose 0.1% in January, matching the increase in December.

Note to readers

On March 27, 2013, with the release of the February Consumer Price Index (CPI), the basket of goods and services used in the calculation of the CPI will be updated. For more information, refer to Consumer Price Index: Basket update and Enhancement Initiative.

The Bank of Canada's core index excludes eight of the CPI'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.

A seasonally adjusted series is one from which seasonal movements have been eliminated. Users employing CPI data for indexation purposes are advised to use the unadjusted indexes. For more information on seasonal adjustment, see Seasonal adjustment and identifying economic trends.

Available in CANSIM: tables CANSIM table326-0009, CANSIM table326-0012, CANSIM table326-0015 and CANSIM table326-0020 to 326-0022.

Definitions, data sources and methods: survey number survey number2301.

For a more detailed analysis, consult the publication The Consumer Price Index. The January 2013 issue of The Consumer Price Index, Vol. 92, no. 1 (Catalogue number62-001-X), is now available from the Browse by key resource module of our website under Publications.

More information about the concepts and use of the Consumer Price Index are also available online in Your Guide to the Consumer Price Index (Catalogue number62-557-X) from the Browse by key resource module of our website under Publications.

The Consumer Price Index for February will be released on March 27.

For more information, or to enquire about the concepts, methods or data quality of this release, contact us (toll-free 1-800-263-1136; infostats@statcan.gc.ca) or Media Relations (613-951-4636; mediahotline@statcan.gc.ca).