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Consumer Price Index, April 2019

Released: 2019-05-15

Consumer Price Index

April 2019

2.0% increase

(12-month change)

The Consumer Price Index (CPI) rose 2.0% on a year-over-year basis in April, following a 1.9% increase in March. The gasoline index decreased 1.6% year over year, following a 4.4% decline in March, while prices increased 10.0% month over month. Excluding gasoline, the CPI rose 2.3% year over year.

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

Component highlights

Seven of the eight major components were up year over year in April, with shelter prices (+2.7%) contributing most to the increase in the CPI. The household operations, furnishings and equipment index fell 0.1% in the 12 months to April.

Chart 2  Chart 2: Consumer prices increase in seven of eight major components
Consumer prices increase in seven of eight major components

Energy prices rose 0.7% year over year in April, the first 12-month gain in the index since October 2018. Gasoline prices increased 10.0% compared with the previous month, as refineries switched to summer-blend fuels, global oil prices continued to rise due to production cuts, and carbon levies were introduced or increased in six provinces.

Natural gas prices increased 10.2% over the 12 months to April, driven in part by higher commodity prices and the introduction of carbon levies in several provinces. Alberta saw the largest year-over-year gain in natural gas prices, due to recent rate increases.

Canadians paid 2.9% more for food in April compared with the same month last year. This was down from a 3.6% year-over-year increase in March. The slowdown in the food index was primarily driven by a decline in the fresh or frozen beef index (-0.8%). The 12-month growth in the price of fresh vegetables slowed from 15.7% in March to 14.5% in April, while the increase in the fresh fruit index slowed to 7.8%.

The services index increased 2.4% on a year-over-year basis in April. The travel tours index rose 8.4% compared with April 2018. The increase was partly attributable to the fact that the first two days of the Easter long weekend, a popular time for travel, took place in April this year. Air transportation prices (+6.6%) continued to rise on a year-over-year basis, amid jet groundings and increased April holiday travel.

Regional highlights

Consumer prices rose more on a year-over-year basis in six provinces in April compared with the previous month. For the seventh consecutive month, British Columbia (+2.7%) posted the largest increase in the CPI.

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

The gasoline index rose 10.0% month over month at the national level in April. Carbon levies, which establish a pricing system on carbon dioxide equivalent emissions, were introduced in New Brunswick, Ontario, Manitoba and Saskatchewan under the Greenhouse Gas Pollution Pricing Act. Prince Edward Island implemented its own carbon levy in April, while British Columbia increased its existing carbon levy. The six provinces in which carbon levies were implemented or increased experienced the largest month-over-month increases in gasoline prices.

Among the provinces, natural gas prices rose the most month over month in Ontario, Manitoba and Saskatchewan.

Chart 4  Chart 4: Gasoline prices increase month over month in all provinces
Gasoline prices increase month over month in all provinces

Seasonally adjusted monthly Consumer Price Index

On a seasonally adjusted monthly basis, the CPI rose 0.3% in April, following a 0.4% increase in March. The transportation index (+0.4%) increased the most in April, while the food and recreation, education and reading indexes were unchanged.






  Note to readers

Check out the new Consumer Price Index Data Visualization Tool!

This dashboard provides access to current and historical Consumer Price Index (CPI) data in a dynamic and customizable format. Check out the latest CPI snapshot to find out what's currently driving price changes in the CPI. Explore key CPI indicators and compare price changes of all the goods and services in the CPI basket over time and by geography.

This web-based application is updated monthly with the release of the CPI.

Visit our new interactive Consumer Price Index Data Visualization Tool.

User consultation

Statistics Canada is planning a series of user consultations on the CPI program. If you are a user of the CPI and wish to participate, please send an email to: statcan.cpddisseminationunit-dpcunitedediffusion.statcan@canada.ca with your name, organization and contact information.

Telephone services index

The release of the November 2018 CPI (published on December 19, 2018) marked the implementation of methodological changes for the calculation of the telephone services index. Detailed documentation describing the new approach for calculating the telephone services index, which was published on April 30, 2019, is available in the article "New approach for estimating the Telephone Services Index of the Consumer Price Index," which is published as part of the publication Prices Analytical Series (Catalogue number62F0014M).

Real-time data tables

Real-time data table 18-10-0259-01 will be updated on May 27.

Next release

The Consumer Price Index for May will be released on June 19.

Products

The interactive Consumer Price Index Data Visualization Tool is available on the Statistics Canada website.

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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