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Consumer prices rose 3.3% in the 12 months to April, matching the increase recorded in March. On a seasonally adjusted monthly basis, consumer prices rose 0.3% in April.

Energy prices advanced 17.1% during the 12 months to April, following a 12.8% increase in March. Gasoline prices increased 26.4%, bringing prices at the pump to a level 5.0% below the record high of July 2008. This increase followed an 18.9% rise in the 12 months to March.

Higher year-over-year prices were also recorded for electricity (+7.0%) and fuel oil (+32.4%). Conversely, prices for natural gas fell 4.8% in the 12 months to April.

Excluding energy, the Consumer Price Index (CPI) rose 2.0% in the 12 months to April, following a 2.4% rise in March. Excluding gasoline, the CPI rose 2.2% in the 12 months to April.

Prices for food purchased from stores rose 3.7% in the 12 months to April, matching the increase in March. Several food items, in particular meat and bakery products, posted faster year-over-year increases in April than they did in March. Prices for fresh vegetables also rose in April, but at a much slower pace than the month before.

12-month change: Transportation posts largest increase

On a year-over-year basis, prices increased in seven of the eight major components of the CPI in April. The only exception was clothing and footwear.

The cost of transportation increased 8.3% in the 12 months to April, the largest year-over-year gain since September 2005, when prices rose in the aftermath of hurricane Katrina. The increase followed a 6.6% advance in March. In addition to paying more for gasoline, consumers paid more in passenger vehicle insurance premiums and for air transportation.

Food prices rose 3.3% in the 12 months to April, identical to the increase in March. Consumers paid more for meat (+5.5%), bakery products (+6.7%) and dairy products (+2.4%). Prices for fresh vegetables, which tend to be volatile, increased 4.3% in April, a much smaller increase than the 18.6% rise recorded in the 12 months ending in March. Prices for food purchased from restaurants rose 2.8%.

Shelter costs rose 2.3% in the 12 months to April. In addition to higher prices for electricity and fuel oil, homeowners' replacement cost increased 2.6%. However, mortgage interest cost, which measures the change in the interest portion of payments on outstanding mortgage debt, decreased 2.1%. Natural gas prices also fell.

Prices for alcoholic beverages and tobacco products rose 2.4% in April. Cigarette prices rose 5.6%. Prices for most tobacco products increased in Prince Edward Island and New Brunswick following provincial budget measures.

Clothing and footwear prices fell 1.1%, following a 0.9% increase in March. Consumers paid less for women's clothing and men's clothing. Prices for footwear also fell.

The provinces: Gasoline a major factor in every province

Consumer prices increased in every province in the 12 months to April. Large increases in gasoline prices were observed in every province, ranging from 19.5% in Prince Edward Island to 30.1% in Ontario.

For the fourth consecutive month, Nova Scotia recorded the largest year-over-year increase in consumer prices.

In Ontario, consumer prices went up 3.6% in the 12 months to April, matching the rise in March. In addition to higher gasoline prices, passenger vehicle insurance premiums also increased, while prices for natural gas fell.

In Quebec, consumer prices increased 3.2% in April, following a 3.3% advance in March. Drivers in Quebec paid 27.2% more for gasoline. Prices for fuel oil and meat also rose.

Prices in British Columbia went up 2.7% in the 12 months to April, following a 3.1% increase in March. Gasoline prices increased 19.8%. Consumers in the province also paid more for food purchased from restaurants, but less for natural gas.

In Alberta, prices advanced 3.0%, following a 2.0% increase in March. The faster increase in April was primarily the result of a 59.6% gain in electricity prices. The large year-over-year increase in electricity costs in the province is partly explained by the fact that electricity prices in April 2010 were among the lowest recorded since 2005. As well, the recent closing of two power generation plants resulted in a significant reduction of electricity supply. Alberta consumers also paid more for gasoline (+24.0%).

Non-seasonally adjusted monthly CPI

Consumer prices, before seasonal adjustment, rose 0.3% from March to April. The increase follows a 1.1% gain the month before. On a monthly basis, prices increased in five of the eight major components.

Transportation costs increased 1.9% in April, after increasing 1.8% in March. Prices for gasoline rose 6.4% on the heels of a 6.6% increase in March. Prices for air transportation also went up.

Prices for shelter rose 0.5% after rising 0.1% in March. Consumers paid more for electricity, natural gas and fuel oil. The mortgage interest cost index fell 0.3%.

The health and personal care index rose 0.8% in April, while the recreation, reading and education index increased 0.2%.

Prices for household operations, furnishings and equipment fell 0.5% after increasing 0.3% in March. Lower prices were recorded for furniture and household appliances.

Prices for clothing and footwear decreased 1.4% in April, after posting a gain of 5.6% the month before. Consumers paid 3.6% less for women's clothing and 1.3% less for men's clothing.

Food prices went down 0.2% following a 1.5% increase in March. Price for food purchased from stores fell 0.4% after gaining 2.2% in the previous month. Consumers paid less for fresh vegetables, non-alcoholic beverages and dairy products. Prices for fresh fruit also fell.

At the provincial level in April, consumer prices rose at a slower rate than in March in most provinces. The exceptions were Prince Edward Island and Alberta.

Alberta recorded the largest increase with prices increasing 1.2% after rising 0.2% in March. The larger rise in April is primarily the result of an increase in electricity prices in the province.

Seasonally adjusted monthly CPI

On a seasonally adjusted monthly basis, consumer prices rose 0.3% from March to April, after increasing 0.8% the month before.

The transportation index, which includes gasoline, advanced 1.0% in April, following a 0.7% increase in March. The shelter index rose 0.5% in April, after increasing 0.1% in March.

Seasonally adjusted, the food index was down 0.2% after having increased 1.6% in March. The clothing and footwear index posted a monthly decrease of 1.7% in April, while the household operations, furnishings and equipment index declined 0.7%.

The Bank of Canada's core index

The Bank of Canada's core index advanced 1.6% in the 12 months to April, following a 1.7% rise in March.

Month-over-month before seasonal adjustment, the core index rose 0.2% in April, after increasing 0.7% in March.

The seasonally adjusted monthly core index increased 0.2% in April, after gaining 0.5% in March.