Updating the Consumer Price Index basket

As the marketplace changes, the CPI basket of goods and services is updated to reflect changes in consumer spending patterns.

In the 2000s, the advent and popularity of tablet computers and smartphones led to a new class of "multipurpose digital devices" being added to the CPI basket alongside the existing "computer equipment and supplies" class.

The items in the CPI basket are weighted according to consumer expenditure patterns. For example, Canadians spend a much larger share of their total budget on rent than on milk: thus, a 10% increase in rental rates have a greater impact on the All-items CPI than a 10% increase in milk prices. With the release of the May 2011 CPI, the basket of goods and services (and their associated weights) used to calculate the CPI was updated. In this revised basket, the weight for food is now 15.99%, and shelter 27.49%.

In the future, Statistics Canada plans to update the CPI basket more frequently, with updates every two years instead of every four years.

Table 25.b CPI weights, 2009 basket at April 2011 prices
Table summary
This table displays the results of table 25.b cpi weights. The information is grouped by all-items cpi (appearing as row headers), 100.00 (appearing as column headers).
All-items CPI 100.00
Food 15.99
Shelter 27.49
Household operations, furnishings and equipment 11.55
Clothing and footwear 5.31
Transportation 20.60
Health and personal care 4.95
Recreation, education and reading 11.20
Alcoholic beverages and tobacco products 2.91
Source: Statistics Canada, Consumer Price Index, Definitions, data sources and methods.
Date modified: