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Consumer Price Index, May 2016

Released: 2016-06-17

Consumer Price Index

May 2016

1.5% 

(12-month change)

The Consumer Price Index (CPI) rose 1.5% in the 12 months to May, after increasing 1.7% in April.

Excluding gasoline, the CPI was up 1.9% year over year in May, following a 2.0% gain in April.

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

On a year-over-year basis, gasoline prices were down 7.1% in May, after declining 5.8% in April. On a monthly basis, gasoline prices registered their third consecutive increase, rising 4.1% in May. This followed an 8.9% monthly gain in April.

Chart 2  Chart 2: Gasoline price index
Gasoline price index

12-month change in major components

Prices rose in all major components in the 12 months to May, with four of eight major components posting smaller year-over-year gains in May than in April. The smaller year-over-year gain in food prices in May compared with April contributed the most to the deceleration in the CPI.

Chart 3  Chart 3: Consumer prices increase in all major components
Consumer prices increase in all major components

Food prices posted their smallest year-over-year gain since March 2014, rising 1.8% in May, after a 3.2% increase the previous month. The index for food purchased from stores advanced 1.4% year over year in May, as prices for fresh vegetables were up less in the 12 months to May (+1.9%) than in April (+11.7%). Fresh fruit prices also decelerated in May, posting a 4.9% increase, after being up 11.0% in April. Prices for food purchased from restaurants rose 2.6% in the 12 months to May, following a 2.7% gain the previous month.

The recreation, education and reading index rose 1.6% in the 12 months to May, following a 2.4% gain in April. This deceleration was led by the index for travel tours, down 6.1% year over year in May, after declining 2.0% the previous month. In addition, the index for traveller accommodation increased less in May (+2.2%) than in April (+5.6%).

The clothing and footwear index was up 1.1% year over year in May, following four consecutive year-over-year declines. This turnaround was mostly attributable to the women's clothing index, which rose 1.8% in the 12 months to May, after falling 0.5% in April. A smaller year-over-year decrease in prices for footwear also contributed to this turnaround. In contrast, prices for children's clothing were down 2.3% in the 12 months to May, their largest year-over-year decline since August 2014.

12-month change in the provinces

In eight provinces, consumer prices rose less on a year-over-year basis in May than in April. In Manitoba, the CPI was up more year over year in May than in the previous month, while the gain registered in Alberta matched that of April.

The gasoline index decreased in the 12 months to May in all provinces. In the Prairie provinces, gasoline prices were down less year over year in May than in April, while the opposite was observed in the other provinces.

Chart 4  Chart 4: Consumer prices rise in all provinces
Consumer prices rise in all provinces

The CPI in New Brunswick rose 1.6% in the 12 months to May, after a 2.2% increase in April. The smaller year-over-year gain in consumer prices was partly attributable to the gasoline index, which posted a larger year-over-year decline in May (-10.5%) than in April (-8.5%). Prices for dairy products were down 0.6% in the 12 months to May, following a 4.1% increase the previous month.

Manitoba was the sole province to register a larger year-over-year rise in consumer prices in May (+1.7%) than in April (+1.3%). This acceleration was partly attributable to the telephone services index, which rose 3.9% in the 12 months to May, after declining 2.7% the previous month. In addition, the index for men's clothing was down less on a year-over-year basis in May than in April.

Alberta's CPI was up 1.5% year over year in May, matching the increase in April. On a year-over-year basis, the gasoline index was down less in May (-3.4%) than in April (-6.6%); the indexes for electricity and natural gas also registered smaller declines in the 12 months to May than in the previous month. The purchase of passenger vehicles index rose 4.6% year over year in May, contributing the most to the gain in consumer prices in Alberta.

In Ontario, the CPI was up 1.9% year over year in May, following a 2.1% increase in April. Prices for fresh vegetables rose less in the 12 months to May (+2.9%) than in April (+13.8%), a larger deceleration than at the national level. Households paid 15.4% more for electricity compared with the same month a year earlier.

Seasonally adjusted monthly Consumer Price Index increases

On a seasonally adjusted monthly basis, the CPI increased 0.2% in May, matching the gain in April.

Chart 5  Chart 5: Seasonally adjusted monthly Consumer Price Index
Seasonally adjusted monthly Consumer Price Index

In May, six of eight major components increased on a seasonally adjusted monthly basis. The food index declined, while the health and personal care index posted no change.

On a seasonally adjusted monthly basis, the transportation index (+0.6%) and the clothing and footwear index (+0.6%) recorded the largest gains in May, while the food index (-0.5%) registered the only decline.

Bank of Canada's core index

The Bank of Canada's core index increased 2.1% in the 12 months to May, after rising 2.2% in April.

The seasonally adjusted core index was up 0.2% on a monthly basis in May, matching the gain in April.




  Note to readers

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.

Next release

The CPI for June will be released on July 22.

Products

The May 2016 issue of The Consumer Price Index, Vol. 95, no. 5 (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).

Two videos, "An Overview of Canada's Consumer Price Index (CPI)" and "The Consumer Price Index and Your Experience of Price Change," are 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; STATCAN.infostats-infostats.STATCAN@canada.ca) or Media Relations (613-951-4636; STATCAN.mediahotline-ligneinfomedias.STATCAN@canada.ca).

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