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


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


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


Gas Dampens CPI for July

For yet another month the lowering price of gasoline and transport continues to dampen (and possibly hide) a CPI that has been around 2.0 % or higher for a long time (yet it continues to be called 1.0%, fun eh?). Stats Canada stated for July:

Lower energy prices continued to moderate the year-over-year rise in the CPI; however, the effect was less pronounced in July than in the previous month. In particular, the gasoline index was down 12.2% in the 12 months to July, compared with a 14.1% decrease in June.

I am sick of how these numbers are being used to hide the fact that inflation is high enough that interest rate controls on them should have been triggered months ago, but due to Canada’s population being Debt Junkies the government is too petrified of what this might entail. The other side of the coin is with oil revenues dropping, and gas prices dropping Canada is paying the price as well.

I am simply being paranoid? Maybe, but if you look at this graph, you will see my statement about 2.0% inflation (without gasoline) is maybe not as much me being paranoid, as being prudent:

CPI for past while

CPI for past little while, with and without energy

I think the center of my vitriolic commentary centers around the numbers is the following statement:

Food prices advanced 3.2% in the 12 months to July, following a 3.4% increase the previous month. Prices for food purchased from stores were up 3.5% on a year-over-year basis in July. The increase in the food index was led by meat prices, which rose 6.1% year over year in July, following a 6.6% increase in June. Additionally, prices were up year over year in July for fresh vegetables and fresh fruit. Prices for food purchased from restaurants rose 2.7% in the 12 months to July.

Food has been over 3% growth for a good long time, and anybody who shops for food knows this, but nothing is being done about it, and the press dismisses it because gas is so darn cheap? You know what really galls me the most? None of the major party leaders have even batted an eye about this.

Bank of Canada’s core index

The nice thing about the Bank of Canada, is their index doesn’t include energy:

The Bank of Canada’s core index was up 2.4% in the 12 months to July, following a 2.3% rise in June.

Food for thought?

The Big Graph

This graphic does an excellent job showing what is really up, and what is keeping the CPi down:


Year over Year CPI

Interesting that Transportation is the only one down?


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Inflation at 0.9% for May (maybe)

A week ago Stats Canada published their Consumer Price Index for the year ending May 2015, and the number they published was that the basket of articles that make up the CPI were up 0.9% year over year.

Given that Food is up it’s normal 3.8% year over year, how is the index only up 0.9%? You guessed it, Gas and energy prices (that complete Index was down 11.8% year over year):

  • Gasoline was down 17.4% year over year, but that will be changing with Gas prices going back up this month.
  • Natural Gas was down 14.4% for the year ending in May as well (not sure about those prices whether they are going up and such).
  • It’s not all good news though, Electricity is up 1.0% so not all of the energy index is down

Without this portion of the index, the actual CPI is up 2.2% year over year. More fun with numbers folks.

CPI with and without Energy

The CPI with and without Energy for the Past Little While

As this graph shows, the real CPI has been running about 2.0% or higher for a while. To see a better graph on what parts are going up and down, I present this interesting piece of data:

CPI components for past little while

The constituent parts and their increase (or decrease)

Bank of Canada’s core index

As we all know, the CPI by itself is only data, however, the system that uses this data (or one of them) is the Bank of Canada, and they will adjust interest rates accordingly, if they feel that inflation is “out of control”, so what does the Bank of Canada think ?

The Bank of Canada’s core index increased 2.2% in the 12 months to May, after rising 2.3% in April.

Bank of Canada CPI

Bank of Canada’s Current CPI, still within norms

CPI Reports for 2015 so far

The reports for this year so far:


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