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Consumer Price Index, August 2015

Released: 2015-09-18

Consumer Price Index

August 2015

1.3% 

(12-month change)

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

Lower energy prices continued to moderate the year-over-year rise in the CPI, led by the gasoline index, which was down 12.6% year over year in August.

Chart 1  Chart 1: The 12-month change in the Consumer Price Index (CPI) and the CPI excluding energy
The 12-month change in the Consumer Price Index (CPI) and the CPI excluding energy

12-month change in the major components

Prices were up in seven of the eight major components on a year-over-year basis in August, with the rise in the CPI being led by higher prices for food. Increases in the index for household operations, furnishings and equipment as well as the shelter index also contributed to higher consumer prices. The transportation index, which includes gasoline, recorded its 10th consecutive year-over-year decline.

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

Consumers paid 3.6% more for food in August compared with the same month a year ago. Prices for food purchased from stores were up 4.0% year over year in August. While meat prices increased 6.3% in the 12 months to August, beef prices declined on a month-over-month basis for the second consecutive month. On a year-over-year basis, prices for food purchased from restaurants increased 2.8% in August.

The index for household operations, furnishings and equipment increased 2.5% in the 12 months to August, after rising 3.3% the previous month. This deceleration was mainly attributable to a smaller year-over-year increase in the telephone services index, which increased 0.5% in the 12 months to August, after rising 3.9% in July. The indexes for Internet access services and furniture also recorded smaller year-over-year increases in August than they did in July.

The shelter index rose 1.1% in August compared with the same month a year earlier. The cost for homeowners' home and mortgage insurance was up 8.1% in the 12 months to August, after increasing 7.5% on a year-over-year basis the previous month. Electricity prices also contributed to the rise in the shelter index, increasing 3.7% year over year. In contrast, fuel oil prices were down 20.2% in the 12 months to August.

The transportation index declined 2.3% in the 12 months to August, after decreasing 1.7% in July. This deceleration was mainly attributable to the purchase of passenger vehicles index, which posted a smaller year-over-year rise in August (+0.6%) than in July (+2.5%). Consumers continued to pay lower prices for gasoline on a year-over-year basis in August.

12-month change in the provinces

Consumer prices rose in nine provinces in the 12 months to August. Saskatchewan posted the largest increase, followed by Manitoba. Prince Edward Island's CPI registered its ninth consecutive year-over-year decline.

On a monthly basis, gasoline prices decreased in seven provinces. In Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Alberta, consumers paid higher prices for gasoline in August than in July, due in part to an unplanned partial maintenance shutdown at a refinery in the American Midwest.

Chart 3  Chart 3: Consumer prices rise in every province except Prince Edward Island
Consumer prices rise in every province except Prince Edward Island

Saskatchewan's CPI was up 1.9% in the 12 months to August, matching the increase in July. Consumers paid higher passenger vehicle insurance premiums in August than they did the same month the previous year. The purchase of passenger vehicles index rose 1.5% in the 12 months to August, after increasing 4.2% the previous month. At the same time, the index for gasoline declined 9.1% on a year-over-year basis in August, after posting a 15.3% decrease the previous month.

Manitoba's CPI increased 1.8% on a year-over-year basis in August, after rising 1.0% the previous month. This acceleration was led by the gasoline index, which registered a smaller year-over-year decline in August (-10.6%) than in July (-16.5%). The electricity index rose 3.6% in the 12 months to August, after posting no change in July. Additionally, the index for telephone services was up 2.8% in August compared with the same month a year ago.

Consumer prices in Ontario rose 1.2% in the 12 months to August, following a 1.5% gain in July. The gasoline index posted a larger year-over-year decline in August (-15.0%) than in July (-12.4%). In addition, the clothing index was up 0.1% year over year in August, after rising 2.0% in July.

Seasonally adjusted monthly Consumer Price Index posts no change

On a seasonally adjusted monthly basis, the CPI recorded no change in August, after rising 0.2% in July.

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

Of the eight major components, six increased and two decreased on a seasonally adjusted monthly basis in August.

The largest increases in August were recorded in the seasonally adjusted household operations, furnishings and equipment index as well as the clothing and footwear index, which both rose 0.4%. The seasonally adjusted index for transportation was down 0.7% in August.

Bank of Canada's core index

The Bank of Canada's core index was up 2.1% in the 12 months to August, following a 2.4% rise in July.

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




  Note to readers

The special aggregate "energy" comprises electricity, natural gas, fuel oil and other fuels, gasoline, and fuel, parts and accessories for recreational vehicles.

A seasonally adjusted series is one from which seasonal movements have been eliminated. Users employing Consumer Price Index (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.

For a more detailed report of the CPI, consult the publication The Consumer Price Index.

Next release

The CPI for September will be released on October 23.

Products

The August 2015 issue of The Consumer Price Index, Vol. 94, 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 (CPI) is available in The Canadian Consumer Price Index Reference Paper (Catalogue number62-553-X).

For information on the history of the CPI in Canada, consult the publication Exploring the first century of Canada's Consumer Price Index (Catalogue number62-604-X).

A video providing an overview of the CPI is available on Statistics Canada's YouTube channel.

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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