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Consumer Price Index, July 2014

Released: 2014-08-22

The Consumer Price Index (CPI) rose 2.1% in the 12 months to July, following a 2.4% increase in June.

Chart 1  Chart 1: The 12-month change in the Consumer Price Index - Description and data table
The 12-month change in the Consumer Price Index

Chart 1: The 12-month change in the Consumer Price Index - Description and data table

12-month change in the major components

Prices increased in all major components in the 12 months to July. Higher prices for shelter and food contributed the most to the rise in the CPI. At the same time, the transportation index led the deceleration in the CPI.

Chart 2  Chart 2: Prices increase in all major components - Description and data table
Prices increase in all major components

Chart 2: Prices increase in all major components - Description and data table

Shelter costs rose 3.0% in the 12 months to July, after advancing 2.9% in June. Natural gas prices increased 20.4% in July compared with the same month the previous year. Consumers also paid more for homeowners' home and mortgage insurance as well as property taxes on a year-over-year basis in July.

Food prices increased 2.9% year over year in July, matching the rise in June. Prices for food purchased from stores rose 3.2% in the 12 months to July, led by higher prices for meat (+9.2%). Prices for fresh vegetables rose 7.5% on a year-over-year basis in July, after increasing 9.5% in June. On a month-to-month basis, prices for fresh vegetables fell 3.0% in July. Food purchased from restaurants cost 2.1% more in July compared with the same month a year earlier.

Transportation costs rose 1.3% on a year-over-year basis in July, a smaller gain than in June (+2.2%). Gasoline prices increased 2.1% in the 12 months to July, after rising 5.4% in June. On a monthly basis, consumers paid 1.9% less for gasoline, with prices falling more in Western Canada than in Eastern Canada. In addition, prices for the purchase of passenger vehicles rose 1.3% year over year in July, following a 1.6% increase in June.

The index for alcoholic beverages and tobacco products increased 4.7% in the 12 months to July. This rise was mainly due to a 10.7% year-over-year advance in cigarette prices. In 2014, the federal excise tax on tobacco, as well as the tobacco taxes in Newfoundland and Labrador, Quebec, Ontario and British Columbia increased.

12-month change in the provinces

Consumer prices rose in every province in the 12 months to July. Ontario, Saskatchewan and Alberta posted the largest increases, while British Columbia recorded the smallest. Saskatchewan and Alberta were the only provinces where prices rose at faster rates in July compared with June.

Chart 3  Chart 3: Consumer prices rise at slower rates in eight provinces - Description and data table
Consumer prices rise at slower rates in eight provinces

Chart 3: Consumer prices rise at slower rates in eight provinces - Description and data table

Ontario's CPI advanced 2.5% in the 12 months to July, after rising 3.0% in June. Natural gas prices in Ontario increased 18.3% year over year in July, a smaller rise than in the previous month (+38.4%). In addition, consumers in Ontario paid 4.2% more for gasoline on a year-over-year basis in July, after paying 9.4% more in June.

Consumer prices in Saskatchewan increased 2.5% on a year-over-year basis in July. This followed a 2.2% rise in June. Prices for natural gas in Saskatchewan advanced 16.2% in the 12 months to July, after increasing 2.1% in June.

Consumer prices rose 2.5% in Alberta in the 12 months to July, after increasing 1.9% in June. Among the provinces, Alberta recorded the largest year-over-year increase in natural gas prices (+41.8%) in July. As well, the indexes for passenger vehicle insurance premiums and homeowners' replacement cost rose more in Alberta compared with the rest of Canada.

In British Columbia, consumer prices increased 1.4% year over year in July, following a 1.9% gain in June. The indexes for homeowners' replacement cost (-1.5%) and gasoline (-1.0%) declined in British Columbia, while they rose at the national level. British Columbia also posted the smallest year-over-year increase in natural gas prices among the provinces.

Seasonally adjusted monthly Consumer Price Index decreases

On a seasonally adjusted monthly basis, the CPI fell 0.1% in July, marking its first decrease since October 2013. The decline in July followed a 0.3% rise in June.

Chart 4  Chart 4: Seasonally adjusted monthly Consumer Price Index - Description and data table
Seasonally adjusted monthly Consumer Price Index

Chart 4: Seasonally adjusted monthly Consumer Price Index - Description and data table

Of the eight major components, three declined and three increased on a seasonally adjusted monthly basis in July.

The seasonally adjusted transportation index (-0.6%) posted the largest monthly decrease in July. On an unadjusted basis, the transportation index (-1.2%) declined more this July compared with the decreases it typically exhibits in the month.

The seasonally adjusted indexes for food and for household operations, furnishings and equipment declined in July. Conversely, the indexes for shelter, health and personal care, as well as alcoholic beverages and tobacco products increased.

Bank of Canada's core index

The Bank of Canada's core index rose 1.7% in the 12 months to July, after increasing 1.8% in June.

The seasonally adjusted core index rose 0.1% on a monthly basis in July, following a 0.2% increase in June.



  Note to readers

A video providing an overview of the Consumer Price Index (CPI) is now available on Statistics Canada's website.

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 Seasonally adjusted data – Frequently asked questions.

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.

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

For a more detailed analysis, consult the publication The Consumer Price Index. The July 2014 issue of The Consumer Price Index, Vol. 93, no. 7 (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 August will be released on September 19.

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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