The Consumer Price Index (CPI) rose 0.4% in the 12 months to April, following a 1.0% increase in March. Declining gasoline prices were largely responsible for the 0.6 percentage point difference in the 12-month change in the CPI. Price decreases for the purchase of passenger vehicles were also a factor.
Gasoline prices decreased 6.0% on a year-over-year basis in April, after falling 0.3% in March. The decrease in April was the largest year-over-year decline in gasoline prices since October 2009.
Excluding gasoline, the CPI rose 0.8% in the 12 months to April, following a 1.1% increase in March.
12-month change in the major components
The shelter and food components were the main upward contributors to the rise in the CPI, while the transportation component was the main downward contributor.
Shelter costs increased 1.3% in the 12 months to April, following a 1.1% rise in March. Electricity prices and rent advanced year over year, while mortgage interest cost decreased 4.3%.
Food prices increased 1.5% on a year-over-year basis in April, after increasing 1.8% in March. Consumers paid more for food purchased from stores, as prices for meat rose 3.2%. In contrast, prices for sugar and confectionery declined 2.8%.
Consumers paid 1.2% more for food purchased from restaurants in the 12 months to April, following a 2.2% increase in March. The smaller increase in April compared with March was largely attributable to price declines in British Columbia.
Transportation costs declined 2.1% in the 12 months to April, after posting no change the previous month. In addition to price decreases for gasoline, prices for the purchase of passenger vehicles declined 0.7% year over year in April, after rising 0.8% in March.
12-month change in the provinces
Consumer prices rose in eight provinces in the 12 months to April. The exceptions were New Brunswick and British Columbia, where consumer prices declined. The largest increases were registered in Prince Edward Island and Manitoba.
Chart: Consumer prices increase the most in Prince Edward Island and Manitoba, and decrease the most in British Columbia (http://www.statcan.gc.ca/daily-quotidien/130517/cg130517a004-eng.gif)
The decline in gasoline prices was a factor in the year-over-year change in all provincial CPIs. The largest gasoline price decreases were posted in Newfoundland and Labrador and Nova Scotia (both -9.3%), while the smallest were recorded in Manitoba (-0.4%) and Prince Edward Island (-2.7%).
On April 1, 2013, the Harmonized Sales Tax came into effect in Prince Edward Island, while British Columbia returned to the Provincial Sales Tax and the Goods and Services Tax.
In Prince Edward Island, consumer prices rose 1.8% in the 12 months to April, after registering a 1.2% advance in March. Prince Edward Island posted the largest year-over-year price increase among the provinces for clothing.
Prices in British Columbia fell 0.8% in the 12 months to April, after rising 0.5% in March. Consumers paid 4.3% less for food purchased from restaurants.
Consumer prices in Manitoba rose 1.8% on a year-over-year basis in April, following a 2.3% increase in March. Manitoba had the smallest year-over-year decrease in gasoline prices among the provinces.
In New Brunswick, consumer prices decreased 0.2% year over year in April, following a 0.8% increase the previous month. Gasoline prices fell 8.6% year over year in April. In addition, prices for clothing decreased 2.8% in the 12 months to April, after increasing 4.4% in March.
Seasonally adjusted monthly CPI decreases
On a seasonally adjusted (http://www23.statcan.gc.ca:81/imdb/p2SV_e.pl?Function=getSurvey &SDDS=2301&lang=en&db=imdb&adm=8&dis=2#b10) monthly basis, the CPI decreased 0.4% in April, after posting no change in March. The decrease in April was the largest decline since October 2008.
Of the eight major components, five posted decreases in April. The seasonally adjusted index for transportation decreased 1.1% in April, following a 1.5% decrease in March. The food index decreased 0.4% in April, while the shelter index increased 0.2%.
Bank of Canada’s core index
The Bank of Canada’s core index (http://www.statcan.gc.ca/pub/62-001-x/2013003/technote-notetech2-eng.htm) rose 1.1% in the 12 months to April, following a 1.4% increase in March.
On a monthly basis, the seasonally adjusted core index posted no change in April, after rising 0.2% in March.
Note to readers
As announced in The Daily (http://www.statcan.gc.ca/daily-quotidien/130327/dq130327a-eng.htm) on March 27, 2013, Statistics Canada has updated (http://www23.statcan.gc.ca/imdb-bmdi/document/2301_D54_T9_V1-eng.htm) the Passenger Vehicle Parts, Maintenance and Repairs Index of the Consumer Price Index (CPI).
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 Seasonal adjustment and identifying economic trends (http://www5.statcan.gc.ca/bsolc/olc-cel/colc-cel?catno=11-010-X201000311141&lang=fra) .
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.
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