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Consumer Price Index, December 2013

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Released: 2014-01-24

The Consumer Price Index (CPI) rose 1.2% in the 12 months to December, following a 0.9% increase in November.

Chart 1  Chart 1: The 12-month change in the Consumer Price Index  - Description and data table
The 12-month change in the Consumer Price Index

Chart 1: The 12-month change in the Consumer Price Index  - Description and data table

The faster year-over-year increase in the CPI was largely attributable to higher gasoline prices, which advanced 4.7% in the 12 months to December, following a 0.4% gain in November. Gasoline prices rose on a monthly basis this December, while they declined in the same month a year ago.

Excluding gasoline, consumer prices rose 1.1% on a year-over-year basis in December, after posting a 1.0% increase in November.

Chart 2  Chart 2: The 12-month change in the gasoline price index  - Description and data table
The 12-month change in the gasoline price index

Chart 2: The 12-month change in the gasoline price index  - Description and data table

12-month change in the major components

Among the eight major components, six recorded gains in the 12 months to December. The increase in the CPI was led by a rise in the transportation index, followed by higher shelter costs and food prices. The recreation, education and reading index posted no change on a year-over-year basis, while the health and personal care component declined.

Chart 3  Chart 3: Prices increase in six of eight major components - Description and data table
Prices increase in six of eight major components

Chart 3: Prices increase in six of eight major components - Description and data table

Transportation prices advanced 2.1% on a year-over-year basis in December, after rising 0.5% the previous month. In addition to gasoline, prices for the purchase of passenger vehicles rose more in the 12 months to December (+1.4%) than in the 12 months to November (+0.4%).

Shelter costs rose 1.9% in the 12 months to December, following a 1.8% gain in November. Consumers paid 4.1% more for electricity and 1.6% more in rent. Conversely, mortgage interest cost decreased 1.3% on a year-over-year basis in December, after falling 2.1% the previous month.

Food prices rose 1.0% in December compared with the same month a year earlier. Prices for food purchased from stores increased 0.8% in the 12 months to December, following a 1.1% gain the previous month. Prices for fresh vegetables, meat and bakery products all posted smaller year-over-year increases in December compared with November.

Prices for food purchased from restaurants increased 1.4% on a year-over-year basis in December, following a 1.2% gain in November.

The health and personal care component decreased 0.4% in the 12 months to December, as the indexes for prescribed medicines, and personal care supplies and equipment declined.

12-month change in the provinces

Consumer prices rose in nine provinces in the 12 months to December. British Columbia was the exception, recording no change on a year-over-year basis. The largest increase was in Prince Edward Island, while the smallest gain was in Quebec. Manitoba was the only province where consumer prices rose at a slower year-over-year rate in December than in November.

Chart 4  Chart 4: Consumer prices increase in nine provinces - Description and data table
Consumer prices increase in nine provinces

Chart 4: Consumer prices increase in nine provinces - Description and data table

In Prince Edward Island, consumer prices increased 3.0% in the 12 months to December, following a 2.6% rise in November. Of all the provinces, Prince Edward Island recorded the largest year-over-year increase in gasoline prices (+8.5%) and in homeowner's replacement cost (+9.5%).

Quebec recorded a 0.8% increase in consumer prices on a year-over-year basis in December, following a 0.6% gain in November. Quebec was the only province where prices for food purchased from stores (-0.6%) declined in the 12 months to December. Additionally, Quebec recorded the smallest year-over-year price increase for the purchase of passenger vehicles (+0.3%) of all the provinces.

Consumer prices in Manitoba rose 2.1% in the 12 months to December, a smaller increase than in November (+2.4%). Of all the provinces, Manitoba posted the smallest year-over-year increase in gasoline prices (+0.2%).

Seasonally adjusted monthly Consumer Price Index increases

On a seasonally adjusted monthly basis, the CPI rose 0.2% in December, matching the increase in November.

Chart 5  Chart 5: Seasonally adjusted monthly Consumer Price Index - Description and data table
Seasonally adjusted monthly Consumer Price Index

Chart 5: Seasonally adjusted monthly Consumer Price Index - Description and data table

On a seasonally adjusted basis, six of the eight major components posted increases in December. The transportation index (+1.0%) recorded the largest gain.

The seasonally adjusted index for clothing and footwear rose 0.4% in December. However, before seasonal adjustment the index declined 2.9%. This indicates that the observed decline in the clothing and footwear index was largely seasonal.

The food index (-0.1%) was the only component to decline on a seasonally adjusted basis.

Bank of Canada's core index

The Bank of Canada's core index rose 1.3% in the 12 months to December, after increasing 1.1% in November.

On a monthly basis, the seasonally adjusted core index rose 0.2% after posting no change in November.



  Note to readers

A seasonally adjusted series is one from which seasonal movements have been eliminated. Users employing Consumer Price Index data for indexation purposes are advised to use the unadjusted indexes. For more information on seasonal adjustment, see Seasonal adjustment and identifying economic trends.

The Bank of Canada's core index excludes eight of the Consumer Price Index'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.

For a more detailed analysis, consult the publication The Consumer Price Index. The December 2013 issue of The Consumer Price Index, Vol. 92, no. 12 (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 are also available online in Your Guide to the Consumer Price Index (Catalogue number62-557-X), from the Browse by key resource module of our website choose Publications.

The Consumer Price Index for January will be released on February 21.

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; infostats@statcan.gc.ca) or Media Relations (613-951-4636; statcan.mediahotline-ligneinfomedias.statcan@canada.ca).

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