Consumer Price Index, April 2016
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The Consumer Price Index rose 1.7% in the 12 months to April, after increasing 1.3% in March.
Excluding gasoline, the CPI rose 2.0% year over year in April, following a 1.9% increase in March.
Energy prices declined 3.2% in the 12 months to April, following a 7.8% decrease in March. This smaller year-over-year decline was mainly attributable to a moderation in the year-over-year decrease in gasoline prices, down 5.8% in April, following a 13.6% decline the previous month.
Smaller year-over-year decreases were also recorded in the natural gas index and the fuel oil index in April compared with March. Natural gas prices were down 12.8% in the 12 months to April, following a 17.4% decline in March, while fuel oil prices fell 19.3% in April, following a 25.8% decrease the previous month.
12-month change in the major components
Prices rose in seven of the eight major components on a year-over-year basis in April, with the food and shelter indexes contributing the most to the increase in the CPI. The clothing and footwear index was the only index to decline on a year-over-year basis in April.
The transportation index increased 0.9% in the 12 months to April, following a 1.0% decline in March. This turnaround was mainly attributable to a smaller year-over-year decrease in gasoline prices in April compared with March. On a monthly basis, the gasoline index increased 8.9% in April, its largest monthly rise since February 2015. On a year-over-year basis, the purchase of passenger vehicles index increased 4.6%, after posting a 3.2% gain in the previous month.
The shelter index was up 1.4% year over year in April, following a 1.1% gain in March. This acceleration was mainly attributable to smaller year-over-year declines in the prices of natural gas and fuel oil. Electricity prices were up 6.5% in the 12 months to April, following a 7.5% increase the previous month.
The clothing and footwear index decreased 0.2% year over year in April, following a 0.4% decline in March. Prices for women's clothing were down less in the 12 months to April (-0.5%) than in March (-1.8%). In addition, the men's clothing index was unchanged from April 2015, after falling 1.1% in the 12 months to March.
Year-over-year gains in food prices slowed in April (+3.2%) compared with March (+3.6%). Prices for food purchased from stores were up 3.3% in the 12 months to April, following a 4.0% increase the previous month. Year-over-year gains in the fresh vegetables index (+11.7%), the fresh fruit index (+11.0%) and the meat index (+1.5%) were smaller in April than in March. Prices for food purchased from restaurants rose 2.7% in April, following a 2.6% increase in March.
12-month change in the provinces
In nine provinces, consumer prices rose more on a year-over-year basis in April than in March. The CPI in Alberta posted the same gain in April as it did the previous month.
The 12-month change in the gasoline index and fuel oil index contributed more to the acceleration of inflation in the Atlantic provinces than in other provinces; this was due, in part, to the fact that the basket weights for these indexes are relatively larger in the Atlantic provinces.
Consumer prices in New Brunswick rose 2.2% in the 12 months to April, after a 1.1% increase in March. Prices for food purchased from stores were up more in the 12 months to April (+5.3%) than in March (+4.5%). In addition, passenger vehicle insurance premiums rose 3.6% year over year in April, following a 0.9% gain the previous month. By comparison, these premiums declined on a year-over-year basis at the national level. Gasoline prices (-8.5%) were down more in New Brunswick than in any other province.
Among the provinces, the CPI in Quebec (+1.0%) increased the least on a year-over-year basis in April. Gasoline prices were down more in Quebec than at the national level in the 12 months to April. Electricity prices increased 0.6% in the 12 months to April, after a 2.2% gain in March. At the same time, on a year-over-year basis, Quebec was one of two provinces, along with Ontario, to record an increase in clothing prices.
In Newfoundland and Labrador, the CPI rose 2.0% year over year in April, following a 1.1% increase in March. The price of alcoholic beverages purchased from stores was up 3.2% on a year-over-year basis in April, following a 0.2% decline in March, as the provincial liquor corporation raised the price of a wide variety of their products. Cigarette prices rose 3.6% year over year in April, partly because of an increase in the province's tobacco tax, which took effect on April 15, 2016.
Seasonally adjusted monthly Consumer Price Index increases
On a seasonally adjusted monthly basis, the CPI increased 0.2% in April, matching the gain in March.
In April, six of the eight major components increased on a seasonally adjusted monthly basis. The food index and the recreation, education and reading index declined.
On a seasonally adjusted monthly basis, the transportation index (+1.7%) recorded the largest gain in April, while the food index (-0.3%) registered the largest decline.
Bank of Canada's core index
The Bank of Canada's core index increased 2.2% in the 12 months to April, after rising 2.1% in March.
The seasonally adjusted core index was up 0.2% on a monthly basis in April, after posting a 0.3% increase in March.
Consumer Price Index, major components and special aggregates, Canada – Not seasonally adjusted
Consumer Price Index for the provinces and for Whitehorse, Yellowknife and Iqaluit – Not seasonally adjusted
Note to readers
The special aggregate "energy" comprises electricity, natural gas, fuel oil and other fuels, gasoline, and fuel, parts and accessories for recreational vehicles.
A seasonally adjusted series is one from which seasonal movements have been eliminated. Users employing Consumer Price Index (CPI) data for indexation purposes are advised to use the unadjusted indexes. For more information on seasonal adjustment, see Seasonally adjusted data – Frequently asked questions.
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.
The CPI for May will be released on June 17.
The April 2016 issue of The Consumer Price Index, Vol. 95, no. 4 (62-001-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 (CPI) is available in The Canadian Consumer Price Index Reference Paper (62-553-X).
For information on the history of the CPI in Canada, consult the publication, Exploring the First Century of Canada's Consumer Price Index (62-604-X).
Two videos, "An Overview of Canada's Consumer Price Index (CPI)" and "The Consumer Price Index and Your Experience of Price Change," are available on Statistics Canada's YouTube channel.
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; STATCAN.infostats-infostats.STATCAN@canada.ca) or Media Relations (613-951-4636; STATCAN.mediahotline-ligneinfomedias.STATCAN@canada.ca).