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Consumer Price Index, September 2019

Released: 2019-10-16

Consumer Price Index

September 2019

1.9% increase

(12-month change)

The Consumer Price Index (CPI) rose 1.9% on a year-over-year basis in September, matching the increase in August. Excluding gasoline, the CPI rose 2.4% for the third consecutive month.

On a seasonally adjusted monthly basis, the CPI edged down 0.1% in September, matching the decline in August.

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

Visit the new Consumer Price Index Portal!

Statistics Canada has launched a new Consumer Price Index (CPI) Portal as part of a suite of portals for prices and price indexes. The CPI Portal centralizes all CPI information and products in one convenient location on the Statistics Canada website. This webpage serves as a single point of access for users to find CPI data, publications, interactive tools and announcements highlighting new products and upcoming changes to the CPI.

Highlights

Prices for goods (+1.3%) rose at a faster rate year over year in September than in the previous month. Conversely, prices for services (+2.2%) rose at a slower pace year over year compared with August.

Chart 2  Chart 2: Prices for goods accelerate, while prices for services slow down
Prices for goods accelerate, while prices for services slow down

Gas prices down on low demand for oil and switch to winter blend

The cost of gasoline fell 10.0% year over year in September, following a 10.2% decrease in August. The decline in gas prices was partially attributable to continued low global demand for oil, as well as the switch by refineries from summer-blend gasoline to the less expensive winter blend.

Chart 3  Chart 3: Gas prices continue to fall
Gas prices continue to fall

Passenger vehicle prices remain on a roll

The purchase of passenger vehicles index saw continued strength in September, up 3.4% from the same month a year earlier. Year-over-year price growth for this index exceeded 2.5% for the seventh consecutive month, the strongest continuous stretch of growth since early 2017. This was partially attributable to fewer incentives being offered to consumers compared with previous years.

Growth in the mortgage interest cost index slows with lower interest rates

The mortgage interest cost index increased 7.5% year over year in September. The index grew through early 2019, peaking at 8.2% year-over-year growth in April and May. This followed a series of interest rate increases by the Bank of Canada from July 2017 to October 2018. In recent months, the index has been growing more slowly as commercial banks are offering lower mortgage rates.

Chart 4  Chart 4: Mortgage interest cost index rising at a slower pace year over year
Mortgage interest cost index rising at a slower pace year over year

Regional highlights

Tuition prices fall in Ontario

The tuition fees index (-3.6%), priced annually in September, fell for the first time since its inception in 1973, due to an 8.9% decline in the index at the Ontario level. This downward movement was a result of tuition cuts enacted by the Ontario government for the 2019/2020 academic year.

Chart 5  Chart 5: Tuition fees decline in Ontario, driving the Canada-level movement
Tuition fees decline in Ontario, driving the Canada-level movement

Meat prices rise in September

On a year-over-year basis, consumers paid 5.5% more for meat in September. Prices for fresh or frozen beef grew faster in September (+4.7%) than in August (+2.0%), when retailers offered a series of discounts. Although prices rose in every province except Quebec, the growth was primarily concentrated in the Atlantic region.

Chart 6  Chart 6: The Consumer Price Index rises at a slower or unchanged pace in seven provinces
The Consumer Price Index rises at a slower or unchanged pace in seven provinces






  Note to readers

Real-time data tables

Real-time data table 18-10-0259-01 will be updated on October 28.

Next release

The Consumer Price Index for October will be released on November 20.

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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