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Consumer Price Index, August 2013

Released: 2013-09-20

The Consumer Price Index (CPI) rose 1.1% in the 12 months to August, following a 1.3% increase in July.

Chart 1  Chart 1: The 12-month change in the Consumer Price Index
The 12-month change in the Consumer Price Index

The increase in the CPI in August was led by shelter costs, which rose 1.1% on a year-over-year basis, following a 1.3% gain in July.

Compared with August last year, consumers paid more for rent and natural gas, while mortgage interest cost declined 3.6%.

12-month change in the major components

In addition to shelter, the transportation component was a main contributor to the year-over-year increase in the CPI in August. The indexes for food as well as clothing and footwear were the only components to increase more in August than in July. The health and personal care component declined year over year for the fifth consecutive month.

Chart 2  Chart 2: Prices increase in seven of eight major components
Prices increase in seven of eight major components

Transportation costs rose 1.3% in the 12 months to August, following a 2.7% advance in July. On a year-over-year basis, consumers paid 2.2% more for gasoline in August, after paying 6.1% more in July. In addition, prices for the purchase of passenger vehicles increased 0.6% in the 12 months to August, a smaller rise than in July (+2.0%).

Food prices increased 1.0% in August compared with the same month last year. This followed a 0.8% rise in July. Consumers paid 0.7% more for food purchased from stores in the 12 months to August, led by higher prices for meat (+1.6%). The cost of fresh fruit advanced 4.4% on a year-over-year basis in August, after rising 1.5% in July.

Prices for food purchased from restaurants increased 1.5% year over year in August, matching the increase in the previous month.

The clothing and footwear index rose 2.3% in the 12 months to August, after increasing 1.5% in July. Compared with the same month last year, fewer discounts on clothing items were observed in August.

The health and personal care index decreased 1.4% on a year-over-year basis in August. This followed a 0.4% decline in July. Compared with August last year, consumers paid 4.2% less for prescribed medicines. In addition, the cost of non-prescribed medicines declined on a year-over-year basis in August, after rising in July.

12-month change in the provinces

Consumer prices rose in nine provinces in the 12 months to August. Manitoba recorded the largest increase among the provinces for the third consecutive month. British Columbia was the only province to post a decline on a year-over-year basis.

Chart 3  Chart 3: Prices increase the most in Manitoba and decrease in British Columbia
Prices increase the most in Manitoba and decrease in British Columbia

In Manitoba, consumer prices advanced 2.7% in the 12 months to August, following a 3.0% increase in July. Manitoba continued to post larger price gains for passenger vehicle registration fees and for cigarettes compared with the national average. Year-over-year increases for these two indexes in Manitoba were affected by month-over-month price gains that took place in previous months, rather than by changes that occurred in August.

Prices in British Columbia decreased 0.1% in the 12 months to August, after posting no change in July. British Columbia was the only province to record year-over-year price declines for food purchased from restaurants and homeowners' replacement cost. The decrease for food purchased from restaurants in British Columbia in August was due more to a monthly decline observed in April 2013 than to recent price changes.

Seasonally adjusted monthly CPI increases

On a seasonally adjusted monthly basis, the CPI rose 0.1% in August, matching the increase in July.

Chart 4  Chart 4: Seasonally adjusted monthly Consumer Price Index
Seasonally adjusted monthly Consumer Price Index

On a seasonally adjusted basis, four of the eight major components posted increases in August. The largest increases were in the food index (+0.4%), and the recreation, education and reading component (+0.3%).

The clothing and footwear index increased 0.2% on a seasonally adjusted basis in August. However, before seasonal adjustment, the index rose 1.3%, indicating that the observed increase was largely seasonal. In addition, the seasonally adjusted index for transportation edged up 0.1% in August, while, before adjustment, the component declined 0.5%.

The seasonally adjusted indexes for household operations, furnishings and equipment (-0.2%) and for alcoholic beverages and tobacco products (-0.1%) were the only components to post declines.

Bank of Canada's core index

The Bank of Canada's core index rose 1.3% in the 12 months to August, following a 1.4% increase in July.

On a monthly basis, the seasonally adjusted core index posted no change in August, after rising 0.1% in the previous month.




  Note to readers

Under the Consumer Price Index (CPI) Enhancement Initiative, a new methodology for the travel tours index will be implemented with the release of the September CPI on October 18, 2013. For more information, refer to Changes to the Travel Tours Index.

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.

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.

Products

For a more detailed analysis, consult the publication The Consumer Price Index. The August 2013 issue of The Consumer Price Index, Vol. 92, no. 8 (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 September will be released on October 18.

Contact information

For more information, or to enquire about the concepts, methods or data quality of this release, contact us (toll-free 1-800-263-1136; 514-283-8300; infostats@statcan.gc.ca) or Media Relations (613-951-4636; mediahotline@statcan.gc.ca).

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