Consumer Price Index, February 2014

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The Consumer Price Index (CPI) rose 1.1% in the 12 months to February, following a 1.5% increase in January.

Chart 1 
The 12-month change in the Consumer Price Index
Line chart – Chart 1: The 12-month change in the Consumer Price Index, from February 2009 to February 2014

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

CSV version of chart 1

Lower gasoline prices lead the deceleration in the Consumer Price Index

The smaller year-over-year rise in the CPI in February compared with January was mainly attributable to gasoline prices, which fell 1.3% in the 12 months to February, following a 4.6% increase in January. On a monthly basis, gasoline prices rose 2.3% this February, a smaller increase than in the same month a year earlier (+8.4%).

Chart 2 
The 12-month change in the gasoline price index
Line chart – Chart 2: The 12-month change in the gasoline price index, from February 2009 to February 2014

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

CSV version of chart 2

12-month change in the major components

Of the eight major components, six recorded gains in the 12 months to February. Higher shelter costs and food prices led the increase in the CPI. At the same time, the indexes for transportation and for clothing and footwear contributed the most to the deceleration in the CPI.

Chart 3 
Prices increase in six of eight major components
Bar clustered chart – Chart 3: Prices increase in six of eight major components

Chart description: Prices increase in six of eight major components

CSV version of chart 3

Shelter costs advanced 2.2% on a year-over-year basis after rising 2.1% the previous month. Consumers paid more for electricity (+4.7%), property taxes (+3.2%) and rent (+1.5%) in February compared with the same month a year earlier.

Food prices rose 1.1% in the 12 months to February, matching the increase in January. Prices for food purchased from stores increased 1.0% on a year-over-year basis, led by higher prices for fresh fruit (+7.5%) and meat (+2.1%). In contrast, prices for dairy products, sugar and confectionery as well as fruit juices declined in February. Prices for food purchased from restaurants increased 1.1%.

Prices for transportation rose 0.4% in February compared with the same month a year earlier, following a 2.0% advance in January. In addition to gasoline, the index for the purchase of passenger vehicles decelerated, up 0.3% in the 12 months to February following a 0.9% gain in January.

The clothing and footwear index declined 0.4% in the 12 months to February after rising 1.5% in January. On a monthly basis, clothing prices recorded a smaller increase this February (+2.4%) than in the same month last year (+5.0%).

Prices for alcoholic beverages and tobacco products rose 2.5% in the 12 months to February, led by a 4.7% increase in cigarette prices. The federal excise tax on cigarettes increased on February 12, 2014.

12-month change in the provinces

Consumer prices decelerated in nine provinces in the 12 months to February, led by slower rates of change in gasoline prices. Saskatchewan was the lone province where the all-items CPI did not decelerate.

Chart 4 
Consumer prices decelerate in nine provinces
Bar clustered chart – Chart 4: Consumer prices decelerate in nine provinces

Chart description: Consumer prices decelerate in nine provinces

CSV version of chart 4

Gasoline prices fell on a year-over-year basis in eight provinces, with Quebec posting the largest decline (-3.2%). Prince Edward Island and Saskatchewan were the only provinces where gasoline prices increased in the 12 months to February, although at slower rates than in January.

Seasonally adjusted monthly Consumer Price Index increases

On a seasonally adjusted monthly basis, the CPI rose 0.3% in February, following a 0.2% increase in January.

Chart 5 
Seasonally adjusted monthly Consumer Price Index
Line chart – Chart 5: Seasonally adjusted monthly Consumer Price Index, from February 2009 to February 2014

Chart description: Seasonally adjusted monthly Consumer Price Index

CSV version of chart 5

Of the eight major components, five increased on a seasonally adjusted basis in February. The index for alcoholic beverages and tobacco products posted the largest monthly rise (+1.4%), followed by transportation (+0.7%). The index for food rose 0.5%.

The clothing and footwear index was the only major component to decline (-0.6%) on a seasonally adjusted basis in February. However, before seasonal adjustment, the index advanced 2.0%, indicating that prices rose less than the typical seasonal movement for February.

Bank of Canada's core index

The Bank of Canada's core index rose 1.2% in the 12 months to February, after increasing 1.4% in January.

On a monthly basis, the seasonally adjusted core index rose 0.2%, matching the increase in January.

Note to readers

The travel tours index, which is part of the recreation, education and reading major component, underwent a methodology update effective with the September 2013 Consumer Price Index (CPI). Therefore, until the release of the September 2014 CPI, the 12-month rate of change for this index should be interpreted with caution (because it compares periods before and after the update).

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.

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

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

For a more detailed analysis, consult the publication The Consumer Price Index. The February 2014 issue of The Consumer Price Index, Vol. 93, no. 2 (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, choose Publications.

The Consumer Price Index for March will be released on April 17.

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).