Retail Services Price Index, fourth quarter 2011

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The Retail Services Price Index (RSPI) rose 0.7% in the fourth quarter compared with the previous quarter.

Chart 1 
Retail Services Price Index
Chart 1: Retail Services Price Index

Chart description: Retail Services Price Index

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General merchandise (+3.4%), food and beverage (+2.2%), building material and garden equipment and supplies dealers (+0.8%) and clothing and clothing accessories (+0.8%) stores all recorded margin increases in the fourth quarter.

Margin increases were moderated by declines in 6 of the 10 retail sectors. The largest margin decreases were posted by electronics and appliance stores (-3.8%) and gasoline stations (-1.2%).

Year over year, the RSPI was up 2.2%. General merchandise stores (+4.3%) posted the largest year-over-year margin increases. Other sectors that reported year-over-year margin increases included food and beverage stores (+3.6%) and gasoline stations (+3.6%). For the fifth consecutive quarter, year-over-year margins for electronics and appliance stores (-7.3%) declined.

Note to readers

Data for the most recent quarter are preliminary. The previous quarter of the series is subject to revision. The series is also subject to an annual revision released with second quarter data of the following reference year. The indexes are not seasonally adjusted.

The Retail Services Price Index (RSPI) is part of the Services Producer Price Index program at Statistics Canada. The RSPI is not a retail selling price index. The index represents the change in the price of the retail service. The price of the retail service is defined as the margin price, which is the difference between the average purchase price and the average selling price of the retail product being priced.

Available without charge in CANSIM: table CANSIM table332-0003.

Definitions, data sources and methods: survey number survey number5135.

For more information, or to enquire about the concepts, methods or data quality of this release, contact Statistics Canada's National Contact Centre (toll-free 1-800-263-1136; 613-951-8116; or the Media Hotline (613-951-4636;