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Consumer Price Index, January 2018

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Released: 2018-02-23

Consumer Price Index

January 2018

1.7% increase

(12-month change)

The Consumer Price Index (CPI) rose 1.7% on a year-over-year basis in January, following a 1.9% increase in December. Excluding energy, the CPI increased 1.7%, matching the gain in December.

Chart 1  Chart 1: The 12-month change in the Consumer Price Index (CPI) and the CPI excluding energy
The 12-month change in the Consumer Price Index (CPI) and the CPI excluding energy

12-month change in the major components

Prices were up in all eight major components in the 12 months to January, with the transportation (+3.2%) and shelter (+1.4%) indexes contributing the most to the gain.

Chart 2  Chart 2: Consumer prices increase in all major components
Consumer prices increase in all major components

Consumers paid 3.2% more for transportation in January, following a 4.9% increase in December. Growth in this index was moderated by the purchase of passenger vehicles index, which increased less on a year-over-year basis in January (+1.4%) than in December (+3.7%). Gasoline prices rose 7.8% in January, after a 12.2% gain in December.

Food prices were 2.3% higher in January on a year-over-year basis, after rising 2.0% in December. This gain, the largest year-over-year movement in the food index since April 2016, was led by higher prices for food purchased from restaurants, which were up 3.7% in January after increasing 2.9% in December. Year-over-year growth in the fresh vegetables (+9.0%) and fresh fruit (+2.8%) indexes intensified in January.

The household operations, furnishings and equipment index rose 0.8% year over year in January after decreasing 0.3% in December. Prices for telephone services increased 6.5% on a month-over-month basis in January following a 7.6% decline in December, when a series of industry-wide price promotions took place.

12-month change in the provinces

Consumer prices rose less on a year-over-year basis in eight provinces in January than in the previous month. British Columbia (+2.1%) and Ontario (+1.8%) were the only provinces to record larger year-over-year increases in January than in December.

Chart 3  Chart 3: Consumer prices rise at a slower rate in eight provinces
Consumer prices rise at a slower rate in eight provinces

Consumers in Alberta saw prices rise 1.4% in the 12 months to January, following a 2.0% increase in December. Lower natural gas prices (-14.7%) contributed the most to the moderation of the CPI in Alberta. Among the provinces, year-over-year growth in gasoline prices slowed the most in Alberta in January.

Prices in Ontario (+1.8%) increased more on a year-over-year basis in January than in December, in contrast to the Canada-level movement. Electricity prices decreased less in January than in December. This year-over-year movement partially reflects January 2017 electricity rebates introduced under the Ontario Rebate for Electricity Consumers Act, which no longer influence the 12-month movement. Prices for food purchased from restaurants (+4.9%) and child care and housekeeping services (+9.9%) rose, coinciding with a legislated minimum wage increase.

Seasonally adjusted monthly Consumer Price Index

On a seasonally adjusted monthly basis, the CPI was up 0.5% in January, following a 0.1% increase in December. All eight major components increased, with the household operations, furnishings and equipment index (+1.2%) recording the largest gain.

Chart 4  Chart 4: Seasonally adjusted monthly Consumer Price Index
Seasonally adjusted monthly Consumer Price Index

  Note to readers

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.

Upcoming publication of additional sub-indexes

On March 23, 2018, with the release of the February CPI, Statistics Canada will publish additional CPI sub-indexes providing an increased level of detail at lower levels of aggregation which will be available in CANSIM tables 326-0020 and 326-0021.

Upcoming methodology change

The CPI measures the change in prices of consumer goods and services over time. To accurately reflect trends in the market and in consumer behaviour, Statistics Canada periodically reviews and updates the methods applied to various components of the CPI.

The release of the March CPI (to be published on April 20, 2018) will mark the introduction of new travel destinations and a change in the data sources used to compile the air transportation index.

The air transportation index represents 1.24% of the 2015 CPI basket at link month (December 2016) prices and is part of Transportation, one of the major CPI components.

Real-time CANSIM tables

Real-time CANSIM table 326-8023 will be updated on March 12. For more information, consult the document Real-time CANSIM tables.

Next release

The CPI for February will be released on March 23.


The January 2018 issue of The Consumer Price Index, Vol. 97, no. 1 (Catalogue number62-001-X) is now available.

More information about the concepts and use of the Consumer Price Index (CPI) is available in The Canadian Consumer Price Index Reference Paper (Catalogue number62-553-X).

For information on the history of the CPI in Canada, consult the publication Exploring the First Century of Canada's Consumer Price Index (Catalogue number62-604-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.

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; or Media Relations (613-951-4636;

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