The Consumer Price Index (CPI) represents changes in prices as experienced by Canadian consumers. It measures price change by comparing, through time, the cost of a fixed basket of goods and services.
The goods and services in the CPI basket are divided into 8 major components: Food; Shelter; Household operations, furnishings and equipment; Clothing and footwear; Transportation; Health and personal care; Recreation, education and reading, and Alcoholic beverages, tobacco products and recreational cannabis. CPI data are published at various levels of geography including Canada, the ten provinces, Whitehorse, Yellowknife and Iqaluit, and select cities.
Consumer Price Index Data Visualization Tool
The Consumer Price Index Data Visualization Tool is an interactive dashboard that provides access to current and historical Consumer Price Index (CPI) data in a dynamic and customizable format.
The Consumer Price Index for July will be released on August 19.
COVID-19 and the Consumer Price Index
Statistics Canada continues to monitor the impacts of the novel coronavirus (also known as COVID-19) on Canada's Consumer Price Index (CPI).
Due to the impact of COVID-19 on product availability in the month of June 2020, select sub-components of the CPI received temporary special imputations. These imputations were implemented according to international guidelines, and following consultation with other national statistical organizations.
A document entitled "Technical Supplement for the June 2020 Consumer Price Index"" is available in the Prices Analytical Series (62F0014M) publication with further details on the methods and approaches used in the compilation of the June 2020 CPI.
New product: Consumer Expenditures During the COVID-19 Pandemic
The COVID-19 pandemic has undoubtedly led to shifts in consumer purchasing patterns, as Canadians adapt to driving less, travelling less and buying more items like cleaning products and non-perishable foods. Changing purchasing patterns have potential implications for the basket weights used for the calculation of the Consumer Price Index (CPI), which is built to represent the consumption expenditures of the average Canadian household.
The Canadian CPI uses a fixed basket, based on expenditure data from the Survey of Household Spending. This method allows for consistent measurement of pure price change by quantifying how the cost of a fixed basket of goods and services changes over time and works well in stable economic conditions. While Statistics Canada will continue to calculate the official CPI based on the fixed basket approach, research on an analytical CPI series which accounts for extreme shifts in consumer purchasing patterns is ongoing.
Through a partnership with the Bank of Canada, Statistics Canada has been able to explore current, punctual sources of expenditure data to estimate CPI basket weights that reflect changes in consumption patterns during the pandemic. These derived weight estimates, reflecting expenditures during COVID-19, and the concurrent period of physical distancing, were used to calculate an analytical CPI for March, April and May 2020.
This research provides insight into the extent to which major shifts in consumption patterns impact the headline CPI. For more information please consult the research paper, Consumer expenditures during COVID-19: An exploratory analysis of the effects of changing consumption patterns on consumer price indexes in the Prices Analytical Series (62FM0014).
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The cellular services price index is now available upon request. For more information, contact us (toll-free 1-800-263-1136; 514-283-8300; STATCAN.infostats-infostats.STATCAN@canada.ca).
An overview of Canada's Consumer Price Index (CPI)
The video "An overview of Canada's Consumer Price Index" provides an overview of the Consumer Price Index (CPI). It defines the CPI and looks at what it measures and how it is used.
The Consumer Price Index (CPI) and Your Experience of Price Change
The video "The Consumer Price Index (CPI) and Your Experience of Price Change" explains how and why the price change reported by the Consumer Price Index (CPI) may vary from the prices Canadians see on the shelves. It tells the story of Joe and Izzy, and how they each perceive price change as compared with the CPI.
Statistics Canada Training Institute – Consumer Price Index
The online lecture "Canada Training Institute – Consumer Price Index" provides an introduction to Statistics Canada's definition and production of the Consumer Price Index, which measures the rate at which prices of goods and services purchased by Canadian consumers change, on average, over a specified period of time.
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