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Consumer Price Index, May 2019

Released: 2019-06-19

Consumer Price Index

May 2019

2.4% increase

(12-month change)

The Consumer Price Index (CPI) rose 2.4% on a year-over-year basis in May, up from a 2.0% increase in April. The CPI increased amid a series of broad-based gains, including higher prices for food and durable goods, while consumers paid 3.7% less for gasoline compared with May 2018. Excluding gasoline, the CPI increased 2.7% year over year, up from a 2.3% increase in April.

Chart 1  Chart 1: The 12-month change in the Consumer Price Index
The 12-month change in the Consumer Price Index

Component Highlights

Prices increased year over year in all eight major components in May, with six components growing at faster rates and two components growing at the same pace compared with April. Higher prices for food (+3.5%) and transportation (+3.1%) contributed to the increased growth in the all-items index.

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

Prices for food purchased from stores rose 4.0% in the 12 months to May, after increasing 3.0% in April. Faster growth in the cost of food was driven by higher prices for meat (+2.9%). Canadians paid 16.7% more for fresh vegetables compared with May 2018, the highest year-over-year increase in the index since February 2016. This movement follows supply issues stemming from inclement weather in source regions, and may have also been influenced by higher demand as observed in the other fresh vegetables index (+17.8%).

The durable goods index rose 2.5% on a year-over-year basis in May, up from a 1.3% increase the previous month. The purchase of passenger vehicles index rose 4.2% compared with May 2018, when manufacturers increased rebates for new trucks. This was the largest year-over-year increase in this index since October 2016.

Energy prices were down 0.1% compared with May 2018. A decline in gasoline prices (-3.7%) over the 12 months to May was the only contributor to the decrease in the energy index.

Regional highlights

Prices rose more on a year-over-year basis in seven provinces in May compared with April. In British Columbia (+2.6%) and Saskatchewan (+2.1%), the CPI increased more slowly on an annual basis in May than in April.

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

On a year-over-year basis, the growth rate for electricity prices increased to 2.3% in May at the national level. This was due in part to an 11.4% increase in electricity costs in Alberta compared with last May, when prices declined. Similarly, natural gas prices rose 11.6% year over year at the Canada level, and increased 29.9% in Alberta due to declines this time last year.

Quebec was the sole province where the traveller accommodation index (+4.6%) rose year over year in May, which is attributable to increased demand during a series of festivals and concerts held in the province. The cost of traveller accommodation was down 12.2% in Nova Scotia, following a 33.8% decrease in April.

Seasonally adjusted monthly Consumer Price Index

On a seasonally adjusted monthly basis, the CPI rose 0.3% in May, matching the increase in April. While all eight major components increased month over month, the recreation, education and reading index (+1.6%) reported the largest seasonally adjusted month-over-month increase.






  Note to readers

User consultations

Statistics Canada is planning a series of user consultations on the Consumer Price Index (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.

Check out the new Consumer Price Index Data Visualization Tool!

This dashboard provides access to current and historical 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.

Upcoming changes to the table "Inter-city indexes of price differentials of consumer goods and services": Addition of a new geographic stratum

Data on inter-city indexes of price differentials of consumer goods and services, appearing in table 18-10-0003-01, will be updated to October 2018 with the release of the June 2019 CPI (to be published on July 17, 2019). As well, the geographic stratum "Iqaluit, Nunavut" will be introduced into the table, reflecting data for the food major component.

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. Users should note that changing methodological elements of any index may result in variations in the series. As such, the interpretation of the 12-month price change indicator should be made with caution, particularly in the year following the implementation of a new methodology.

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 July 2.

Next release

The Consumer Price Index for June will be released on July 17.

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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