Food Prices up 4.1% For 2015 in Canada

To the surprise of absolutely no one in Canada who has walked into a grocery store lately, Stats Canada announced on Friday that the Inflation rate (year over year) for December 2015 (and thus effectively the year 2015) rate of inflation was 1.6%, which seems gosh darn just grand, but as usual this smelly onion’s aroma is only divulged as you look deeper in the layers of the numbers published.

Cauliflower.JPG

Cauliflower” by User Anthony DiPierro on en.wikipedia – Licensed under Public Domain via Commons

As we can see from this simple graphic, the numbers are a little cock-eyed if you look a little closer to the details of the report. In the gory details of the report you find a much richer explanation of what is going on in terms of the price of food:

Consumers paid 3.7% more for food in December compared with the same month a year earlier. Prices for food purchased from stores were up 4.1% year over year in December, following a 3.7% increase the previous month. The acceleration was mainly attributable to the fresh vegetables and fresh fruit indexes, which rose more on a year-over-year basis in December than in the previous month. In contrast, the meat index increased less in the 12 months to December (+2.4%) than in November (+3.9%). Prices for food purchased from restaurants rose 2.8% year over year in December, matching the increase in November.

A more detailed part of the report goes into even more interesting details:

Main contributors to the 12-month change in the CPI:

Main upward contributors:

  1. Purchase of passenger vehicles (+3.1%)
  2. Fresh vegetables (+13.3%)
  3. Homeowners’ home and mortgage insurance (+8.9%)
  4. Fresh fruit (+13.2%)
  5. Electricity (+3.8%)

Main downward contributors:

  1. Gasoline (-4.8%)
  2. Natural gas (-12.9%)
  3. Telephone services (-2.5%)
  4. Mortgage interest cost (-1.3%)
  5. Fuel oil (-16.8%)

Hence all of the discussions about the head of Cauliflower costing $8 in some places? The serious part of this, is that homeless shelters and similar services are now having problems with their food budgets for the winter. The fact that home and mortgage insurance rates are spiking is another interesting issue that not many folks are talking about?

Bank of Canada’s core index

Remember that the Bank of Canada’s measure of inflation is a bit different, and as they are the ones that might raise interest rates in response to any inflationary spirals, we should check what they think about inflation.

The Bank of Canada’s core index was up 1.9% in the 12 months to December, following a 2.0% rise in November.

Reports from Previous Months in 2015

If you want to have a walk down memory lane about how prices have been going up, here you go.

{ 3 comments }

Food Prices Up 3.4% In November

More fun with numbers in November, where if you just read the first line of the report from Stats Canada about the Consumer Price Index for November 2015, you would read:

The Consumer Price Index (CPI) rose 1.4% in the 12 months to November, after increasing 1.0% in October.

Doesn’t that sound like great news? Inflation running at 1.4%, that is very low, however, dig a little deeper and you find out that:

Prices were up in seven of the eight major components on a year-over-year basis in November, with the food and shelter indexes contributing the most to the rise in the CPI. The transportation index, which includes gasoline, recorded its smallest decrease since November 2014.

Food prices were up 3.4% in the 12 months to November, after rising 4.1% in October. The index for food purchased from stores registered a 3.7% year-over-year gain, following a 4.6% increase the previous month. While prices for fresh vegetables and meat contributed the most to the gain, they increased less year over year in November than October. Prices for food purchased from restaurants were up 2.8% on a year-over-year basis in November, following a 2.7% increase in October.

Cough, Cough! What?!? Man, we need to really figure out how we can drink gasoline, because it seems to be the cheapest thing to buy these days, in terms of food stuffs. If you feel you didn’t quite “get” what that paragraph said, have a look at this graphic.

Inflation By Category

12 Month Price Change by Category

An interesting graphic is this one, that shows the growth of the “basket of goods” price growth over the past 5 years.

Inflation

Basket of Good Value Over Past 5 Years

Inflation-Control Target From Bank of Canada

Luckily the Bank of Canada measures inflation a little differently.

The Bank of Canada’s core index was up 2.0% in the 12 months to November, following a 2.1% rise in October.

The seasonally adjusted core index was up 0.1% on a monthly basis in November, after increasing 0.2% in October.

Operational Guide

Reports from Previous Months in 2015

If you want to have a walk down memory lane about how prices have been going up, here you go.

{ 2 comments }

Canadians Paid Even More For Food in October (4.1%)

Different Government same story for Inflation in Canada in October, as reported by our friends at Stats Canada. With Gasoline prices down 17.1% year over year, the real inflation rate published is 1.0%, for the 12 months, however, the clarification in the report helps understand about food:

Food prices were up 4.1% year over year in October, after increasing 3.5% in September. This acceleration was attributable to higher prices for food purchased from stores, which increased 4.6% year over year in October, after rising 3.9% the previous month. Prices for fresh fruit increased more in the 12 months to October (+13.0%) than in September (+8.5%). In addition, the dairy products index increased year over year in October, following a decrease the previous month. Prices for food purchased from restaurants were up 2.7% year over year.

Sad to see that healthy food is really going up in price these days. As I have said previously, not that many folks eat Gasoline, and now they are eating less healthy food too (especially if they have fixed incomes). With the dollar dropping in value, the pressure on the Price Index is only getting worse.

CPI for past 5 years

Consumer Price Index for Past 5 Years

That graphic might give you hope, but the following sums it all up far too well, just look at how everything is up, but thanks to lower gas prices, inflation seems low.

Inflation by sector

Inflation by sector compared to last month

Bank of Canada’s core index

The Bank of Canada’s core index was up 2.1% which is unchanged from last month, so the Bank of Canada thinks inflation is higher. (according to their Operational Guide )

Operational Guide

Reports from Previous Months in 2015

{ 0 comments }

Canadians Paid 3.9% More For Food in September

That is really what the headlines should have read from the Stats Canada Consumer Price Index Report for September 2015, instead it read the total CPI is 1.0%, thanks to cheaper gasoline. The whole report starts off optimistically with the following statement:

The Consumer Price Index (CPI) rose 1.0% in the 12 months to September, after increasing 1.3% in August.

The smaller year-over-year increase in the CPI in September compared with August was mostly attributable to an 18.8% year-over-year decline in gasoline prices in September, following a 12.6% decrease the previous month.

Reading that you are thinking rainbows, unicorns and how wonderful things are, until you read the following statement:

Consumers paid 3.5% more for food in September compared with the same month a year ago. Prices for food purchased from stores were up 3.9% year over year in September. Prices for fresh vegetables increased more on a year-over-year basis in September (+11.5%) than in August (+7.7%). The meat index rose 4.4% year over year in September, following a 6.3% increase in August. In the 12 months to September, prices for food purchased from restaurants were up 2.7%.

If that doesn’t tighten one of your 5 sphincters, I am not sure what will.

Here is a pretty graph to make  you feel better about how much you are spending on food.

Inflation in Canada for Past While

Inflation for Past Little While

While that might make you feel better and convince you that things are just fine, the following graphic is much better at showing that you really are paying a fair amount more for your “stuff” but thanks to gas no one really cares. Oh and if this makes you want to have a drink of a smoke, that costs more too (OK that is me just whining).

By Category Inflation

By Category inflation

Bank of Canada’s core index

At least the Bank of Canada seems to be getting a little more right? Remember if things get above 3% is when they start thinking about an interest rate change (remember, Interest Rates can go up!).

The Bank of Canada’s core index was up 2.1% in the 12 months to September, matching the increase in August.

Inflation from Bank of Canada

Bank of Canada’s Graphic

Reports from Previous Months in 2015

{ 0 comments }

Inflation and Silly Gasoline Tricks Continues in August

On Friday our friends from Stats Canada published their monthly report on the Consumer Price Index for August 2015, and their findings are similar to those from earlier months in 2015.

The Consumer Price Index (CPI) rose 1.3% in the 12 months to August, matching the increase in July…. Lower energy prices continued to moderate the year-over-year rise in the CPI, led by the gasoline index, which was down 12.6% year over year in August.

So the story continues with many areas rising by a fair amount, while gasoline dampens the overall index.

Consumer Price Index

CPI with and without energy for past 5 years

As you see we are closer to 2.0% inflation, than we are the “actual” 1.3%. Food is up 3.6% (year over year), which impacts most Canadians, but due to Energy and Transport being down 7.2% and 2.3% no one seems to notice that feeding ourselves continues to be an ever-increasing commodity. Doesn’t even seem to be an election issue, haven’t heard anybody talk about it.

This graphic is useful to see how the numbers are skewed:

CPI by category

What was Cheaper and what was more expensive

Bank of Canada’s core index

Just remember that the bank of Canada uses their own data to calculate inflation, and there numbers are more telling:

The Bank of Canada’s core index was up 2.1% in the 12 months to August, following a 2.4% rise in July

CPI from Bank of Canada Graphic

It is interesting that this is really not a topic on the election trail.

Reports from Previous Months in 2015

{ 0 comments }

%d bloggers like this: