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Consumer Price Index, December 2023

Released: 2024-01-16

The Consumer Price Index (CPI) rose 3.4% on a year-over-year basis in December, following a 3.1% increase in November. While gasoline prices fell on a monthly basis for the fourth month in a row, the headline acceleration was largely the result of higher year-over-year prices for gasoline in December (+1.4%) compared with November (-7.7%). This was the result of a base-year effect where gasoline prices fell more on a monthly basis in December 2022 than they did in December 2023. Excluding gasoline, the headline CPI slowed year over year, from 3.6% in November to 3.5% in December.

Additional acceleration came from airfares, fuel oil, passenger vehicles and rent. Prices for food purchased from stores rose 4.7% year over year in December, matching the increase in November (+4.7%). Moderating the acceleration in the all-items CPI were lower prices for travel tours.

On a monthly basis, the CPI fell 0.3% in December, after a 0.1% gain in November. Lower month-over-month price movements for travel tours (-18.2%) and gasoline (-4.4%) contributed to the monthly decline. On a seasonally adjusted monthly basis, the CPI rose 0.3% in December.

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

Chart 2  Chart 2: Headline acceleration led by the transportation component
Headline acceleration led by the transportation component

Gasoline prices increase on base-year effect

Year over year, gasoline prices rose 1.4% in December, following a 7.7% decline in November. The increase was the result of a base-year effect, as prices fell 13.1% month over month in December 2022, when prices for crude oil were lower amid concerns of a slowing global economy.

On a monthly basis, prices for gasoline (-4.4%) fell for the fourth consecutive month in December. Continued uncertainty about oil demand and high levels of supply put downward pressure on prices.

Chart 3  Chart 3: Gasoline prices fall for the fourth consecutive month
Gasoline prices fall for the fourth consecutive month

Prices for air transportation rise month over month amid strong demand for air travel

Month over month, Canadians paid 31.1% more for air transportation in December amid strong demand for air travel during the holiday season, following a 1.1% gain in November. Prices for air transportation fell to a lesser extent on a year-over-year basis in December (-9.7%) compared with November (-17.4%), putting upward pressure on the all-items CPI.

Rent prices continue to climb

Rent prices continued to climb in December, rising 7.7% year over year, following a 7.4% increase in November. Among other factors, a higher interest rate environment, which can create barriers to homeownership, put upward pressure on the index. While rent prices remained elevated on a year-over-year basis in most provinces in December, prices in Ontario (+6.9%), British Columbia (+8.6%) and Quebec (+6.8%) contributed the most to the increase.

Rent prices in Prince Edward Island (-0.9%) fell year over year for the fifth consecutive month in December.

Chart 4  Chart 4: Rent prices remain elevated
Rent prices remain elevated

2023 annual review

Today, Statistics Canada publishes the release Consumer Price Index: Annual review, 2023, highlighting the annual average consumer inflation in Canada and the regions in 2023.

Explore the Consumer Price Index tools

Check out Statistics Canada's new Food Price Data Hub, which features a variety of food price related statistics, articles and tools.

To find a list of all recent publications regarding the Consumer Price Index (CPI), consult our Recent Analytical Products page.

Check out the Personal Inflation Calculator. This interactive calculator allows you to enter dollar amounts in the common expense categories to produce a personalized inflation rate, which you can compare to the official measure of inflation for the average Canadian household—the CPI.

Browse the Consumer Price Index Data Visualization Tool to access current (Latest Snapshot of the CPI) and historical (Price trends: 1914 to today) CPI data in a customizable visual format.

Passenger vehicle prices rise

The purchase of passenger vehicles index rose 2.3% on a year-over-year basis in December, following a 1.5% increase in November. The increase was led by higher prices for new passenger vehicles (+3.4%), partly attributable to the availability of new 2024 model-year vehicles.

Regional highlights

Year over year, prices rose at a faster pace in December compared with November in nine provinces. Prices for fuel oil and other fuels fell to a lesser extent in December (-13.0%) compared with November (-23.6%), contributing to the acceleration in all-items inflation. Fuel oil is more commonly used for heating homes in Atlantic Canada, and as such, contributed more to price growth in these provinces compared with others.

Chart 5  Chart 5: The Consumer Price Index rises at a faster pace in nine provinces
The Consumer Price Index rises at a faster pace in nine provinces

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Get timely access to data right at your fingertips by downloading the StatsCAN app, available for free on the App Store and on Google Play.






  Note to readers

Visit the Consumer Price Index portal to find all Consumer Price Index (CPI) data, publications, interactive tools and announcements highlighting new products and upcoming changes to the CPI in one convenient location.

Upcoming change to the core inflation measures data

With the release of the January 2024 CPI on February 20, the CPI-trim and CPI-median year-over-year change figures will be calculated based on index values rounded to one decimal place.

Previously, the year-over-year change figures of these two measures of core inflation were calculated based on full precision (unrounded) index values. In February 2023, Statistics Canada began publishing index-level data series for the CPI-trim and CPI-median, which are rounded to one decimal place, as all indexes in the CPI are published at this level of precision. Therefore, year-over-year changes in these core inflation measures calculated using the latter will not necessarily align with the published year-over-year change figures due to rounding differences.

To eliminate this incoherence, the year-over-year change figures for CPI-trim and CPI-median will be calculated based on index values rounded to one decimal place. As a result of this change, the historical year-over-year change figures for CPI-trim and CPI-median will be revised back to January 1990. These revisions will not exceed +/- 0.1 percentage points.

This change has no impact on the All-items CPI, the seasonally adjusted All-items CPI or the CPI-common.

Real-time data tables

Real-time data table 18-10-0259-01 will be updated on January 29. For more information, consult the document "Real-time data tables."

Next release

The Consumer Price Index for January will be released on February 20.

Products

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

More information on 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.

Find out answers to the most common questions posed about the CPI in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond.

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; infostats@statcan.gc.ca) or Media Relations (statcan.mediahotline-ligneinfomedias.statcan@statcan.gc.ca).

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