Prices up 0.8% in April or More Fun with Numbers

Apologies for the tardiness on this (family fun on the weekend caused me to miss this until today), but our amigos at Stats Canada published on Friday the April Consumer Price Index Numbers and if you include the price of gasoline the CPI for the year ending in April 2015 is up 0.8%, which sounds just wonderful (doesn’t it?).

For your monthly dose of “Fun with Numbers”, the second paragraph of the report outlines things nicely:

The smaller year-over-year increase in the CPI in April compared with March was mostly attributable to lower energy prices. Excluding energy, the CPI increased 2.2% on a year-over-year basis in April, following a 2.3% increase the previous month.

So inflation is really running at 2.2% ? Yes and no, which is always the best answer, because you are never wrong.

Fun with pictures?

CPI with and without Energy

The 12-month change in the Consumer Price Index (CPI) and the CPI excluding energy

The sad part of this is the ability for all of the Federal Political Parties to interpret this data in their own way, and thus making it a veritable cornucopia of confusion.

Another useful graphic to show just how “jerking back and forth” (to quote Devo) the Index is working:

Prices increase in seven of eight major components

Prices increase in seven of eight major components

Clear as mud, correct? You can see Gasoline dropping, but you can also see that Food prices are leading the charge on the increase side of things, which is never a good thing (unfortunately booze is there as well, so we can’t eat or enjoy our sins).

Bank of Canada’s core index

Surely the Bank of Canada will have a clear statement? Yes, and we are in the middle of their “sweet spot” for inflation, but if it gets above 3.0% we might see Interest rate hikes:

The Bank of Canada’s core index increased 2.3% in the 12 months to April, after rising 2.4% in March.

The seasonally adjusted core index was unchanged on a monthly basis in April, following a 0.4% increase in March.

Luckily they also have a snazzy graphic to help with that as well:

Bank of Canada View of Core CPI

Core CPI in the Bank of Canada View

CPI Reports for 2015 so far

The reports for this year so far:


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