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 June will be released on July 22 as planned, and all regularly released products will be available to our users.
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).
In May, measures remained in place across much of the country to restrict the movement of people and order the temporary closure of businesses. Subsequently, in-person field collection was conducted via telephone or Internet, supplementing prices collected via web scraping, transaction data and administrative data. Due to the impact of COVID-19 on product availability in the month of May 2020, select sub-components of the CPI received temporary special imputations.
While some products and services, such as child care and housekeeping services, started to become available for consumption in May, others, such as spectator entertainment and travel tours, remained unavailable. Availability of these goods and services varied throughout the country, as different provinces reopened to various extents at different times. The following sub-indexes were imputed from the monthly change in the all-items index: travel tours; spectator entertainment; and use of recreational facilities. These imputations have the effect of removing the impact of these goods and services on the CPI.
Although prices for airfares were collected prior to the suspension of flights, prices for suspended flights are excluded from the May CPI calculation because passengers were ultimately unable to consume them. As a result, select sub-components of the air transportation index were imputed from the parent index.
The indexes, beer served in licensed establishments, wine served in licensed establishments, and liquor served in licensed establishments were imputed in regions where the restrictions continued from indexes which consumers likely redirected these expenditures: beer purchased from stores, wine purchased from stores, and liquor purchased from stores.
Where prices were missing due to high levels of out-of-stock products or the temporary closure of businesses, they were imputed with the average price movement of available prices for those items.
As in April, select sub-components of the CPI received temporary special imputations due to the impact of COVID-19 on product availability. A document entitled Technical Supplement for the May 2020 Consumer Price Index, is available in the Prices Analytical Series (62F0014M) publication, with further details on the imputations used to compile the May 2020 CPI.
New product: Provincial Average Retail Prices
Statistics Canada has released the new Monthly average retail prices for selected products, by province table, which provides price estimates at a provincial level for a range of products commonly purchased by Canadian consumers. This table will be updated on a monthly basis.
To learn more about the data source and methodology behind this table, please consult the Methodological Supplement for the Provincial Monthly Average Retail Prices Table.
Did you know?
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.
What do you want to see on this page? Fill out our feedback form to let us know.