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Consumer Price Index, August 2014

Released: 2014-09-19

The Consumer Price Index (CPI) rose 2.1% in the 12 months to August, matching the increase in July.

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 August. Higher shelter costs led the gain in the CPI. The indexes for household operations, furnishings and equipment, food, as well as transportation also contributed to the rise 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 2.8% in August compared with the same month a year earlier. This increase followed a 3.0% gain in July. Natural gas prices increased 17.9% on a year-over-year basis in August, after rising 20.4% the previous month. Consumers also paid more for homeowners' home and mortgage insurance.

The household operations, furnishings and equipment index rose 3.0% on a year-over-year basis in August, led by a 7.6% increase in the cost of telephone services. In addition, the cost of Internet access services rose in the 12 months to August.

Food prices were up 2.2% in the 12 months to August. The cost of food purchased from stores increased 2.3% on a year-over-year basis, after rising 3.2% the previous month. This deceleration was led by prices for fresh fruit and fresh vegetables, both of which recorded smaller increases in August than in July. At the same time, consumers paid 9.3% more for meat in the 12 months to August. Prices for food purchased from restaurants were up 2.1% compared with the same month a year earlier.

Transportation costs rose 1.2% on a year-over-year basis in August, following a 1.3% increase in July. The purchase of passenger vehicles index advanced 2.9% in the 12 months to August, after rising 1.3% the previous month. Conversely, gasoline prices decreased 0.1% in August compared with the same month a year earlier. This decline followed a 2.1% gain in July.

The index for alcoholic beverages and tobacco products advanced 5.7% in the 12 months to August, following a 4.7% gain in July. This larger increase was led by higher prices for beer purchased from stores, which rose 2.8% year over year in August, after increasing 0.3% the previous month. Consumers also paid more for cigarettes on a year-over-year basis in August.

12-month change in the provinces

Consumer prices rose in every province in the 12 months to August. Saskatchewan posted the largest increase, while Prince Edward Island recorded the smallest.

Chart 3  Chart 3: Consumer prices rise the most in Saskatchewan and the least in Prince Edward Island - Description and data table
Consumer prices rise the most in Saskatchewan and the least in Prince Edward Island

Chart 3: Consumer prices rise the most in Saskatchewan and the least in Prince Edward Island - Description and data table

Saskatchewan's CPI advanced 2.7% in the 12 months to August. Among the provinces, Saskatchewan recorded the highest year-over-year increase in the purchase of passenger vehicles index (+6.1%). It was also one of three provinces, along with Ontario and Alberta, where gasoline prices rose in August compared with the same month a year earlier.

Consumer prices in Prince Edward Island rose 1.2% on a year-over-year basis in August. Prices for clothing declined in the province in the 12 months to August, while at the national level the clothing index increased.

Seasonally adjusted monthly Consumer Price Index increases

On a seasonally adjusted monthly basis, the CPI increased 0.1% in August, following a 0.1% decrease in July.

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, half rose and half declined on a seasonally adjusted monthly basis in August.

The seasonally adjusted index for household operations, furnishings and equipment (+1.3%) posted the largest monthly increase in August, followed by the alcoholic beverages and tobacco products index (+0.9%). The indexes for recreation, education and reading, as well as health and personal care also rose on a seasonally adjusted monthly basis.

The seasonally adjusted index for clothing and footwear (-0.4%) recorded the largest decline in August. The indexes for food, shelter and transportation decreased as well.

Bank of Canada's core index

The Bank of Canada's core index advanced 2.1% in the 12 months to August, after increasing 1.7% in July.

On a year-over-year basis, prices for some of the components included in the core index, such as telephone services and the purchase of passenger vehicles, increased more in August than in July. Movements in these indexes have a larger impact on the core index than on the All-items CPI because certain components are excluded from the core index.

At the same time, prices for gasoline, fresh fruit, fresh vegetables and natural gas, which are excluded from the core index, decelerated on a year-over-year basis in August.

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



  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 August 2014 issue of The Consumer Price Index, Vol. 93, 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 17.

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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