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Consumer Price Index, February 2018

Released: 2018-03-23

Consumer Price Index

February 2018

2.2% increase

(12-month change)

The Consumer Price Index (CPI) rose 2.2% on a year-over-year basis in February, following a 1.7% increase in January.

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

12-month change in the components

All eight major components increased year over year in February.

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

Energy costs were 5.3% higher compared with February 2017, after increasing 2.4% year over year in January. Year-over-year gains in gasoline (+12.6%) and natural gas (+0.8%) were larger in February than in January.

Prices for durable goods were up 0.6%, led by the purchase of passenger vehicles index (+2.5%), mainly due to lower rebates on 2018 model-year vehicles.

Higher prices for services also contributed to the increase in the CPI. In February, consumers paid more on a year-over-year basis for travel tours (+2.2%) and Internet access services (+5.2%). The mortgage interest cost index rose 2.3%, reflecting, in part, recent interest rate increases. These gains in service prices were moderated by lower traveller accommodation (-4.8%) costs.

12-month change in the provinces

Prices rose more on a year-over-year basis in every province in February than in the previous month. This growth was strongest in the Atlantic provinces, led by higher prices for food purchased from stores. The largest year-over-year increase in the all-items CPI (+3.0%) was observed in Prince Edward Island.

Chart 3  Chart 3: Consumer prices rise at a faster rate in all provinces
Consumer prices rise at a faster rate in all provinces

In Ontario, prices were 2.1% higher in February than they were in the same month one year earlier, after rising 1.8% in January. Consumers paid higher prices for food purchased from restaurants (+6.6%), child care and housekeeping services (+10.6%) and personal care services (+5.5%) on a year-over-year basis, after a legislated minimum wage increase in January.

Seasonally adjusted monthly Consumer Price Index

On a seasonally adjusted monthly basis, the CPI rose 0.2% in February, following a 0.5% increase in January. Six of eight major components increased, while the clothing and footwear index (-0.2%) declined and the food index was unchanged.

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

Main contributors to the 12-month change in the CPI

The main upward contributors to the 12-month change in February included gasoline (+12.6%), food purchased from restaurants (+4.0%), purchase of passenger vehicles (+2.5%), homeowners' replacement cost (+3.6%) and mortgage interest cost (+2.3%).

Conversely, the main downward contributors were electricity (-4.7%), traveller accommodation (-4.8%), digital computing equipment and devices (-5.9%), video equipment (-10.1%) and furniture (-1.8%).

Main contributors to the monthly change in the CPI, not seasonally adjusted

A number of upward contributors affected the monthly change in the CPI, including travel tours (+18.1%), purchase of passenger vehicles (+1.2%), Internet access services (+6.0%), women's clothing (+3.0%) and food purchased from restaurants (+0.6%).

The largest downward contributors included fresh fruit (-3.5%), gasoline (-0.7%), telephone services (-0.8%), digital equipment computing and devices (-1.5%) and non-alcoholic beverages (-2.1%).





  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 April 20, 2018, with the release of the March 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 April 9. For more information, consult the document Real-time CANSIM tables.

Next release

The CPI for March will be released on April 20.

Products

The February 2018 issue of The Consumer Price Index, Vol. 97, no. 2 (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; STATCAN.infostats-infostats.STATCAN@canada.ca) or Media Relations (613-951-4636; STATCAN.mediahotline-ligneinfomedias.STATCAN@canada.ca).

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