Consumer Price Index Down a Little for March 2009

in Bank Fees, Bank of Canada, Dollar, Inflation, Stats Canada

Another interesting month in March for the CPI with the CPI running at 1.2% down from 1.4% in February. Lower inflation is a good thing for consumers for now, except the numbers are very deceiving, when Food is the major upward pressure (a day to day cost we all incur) and with Energy prices stabilizing, what will come in the next few months. With the amount of money “vomited” into the monetary system by governments, is Inflation that far off?

Food Glorious Food

The main culprits in the upward pressure is the cost of shelter and the cost of food. Specifically Stats Canada points out:

Food prices, the largest factor, rose 7.9% during the 12-month period to March, on the heels of a 7.4% rise in February. March’s increase was the largest since November 1986.

Yikes, that is expensive, seems our Food dollar is really not going that far these days.

Energy and Transport DOWN

The Energy and Transport sectors did their best to lower the CPI, if not put us into a deflationary spiral, by dropping significantly over the year as well.

Mitigating the overall increase in the CPI was a 6.2% decline in transportation costs. Year-over-year price drops for gasoline and for purchasing and leasing passenger vehicles were the primary downward contributors. Increasing prices for passenger vehicle insurance mitigated the overall 12-month drop in transportation costs.

Excluding gasoline, the CPI rose 2.4% in the 12 months to March. Overall, energy prices fell 11.2% during the same period, a larger drop than February’s decline of 8.8%.

Now that is a price drop! No wonder they are laying folks off in the oil patches.

The Big Picture

 Relative importance2March 2008March 2009February 2008 to February 2009March 2008 to March 2009
    % change
Household operations and furnishings11.10104.1106.82.22.6
Clothing and footwear5.3696.095.7-0.5-0.3
Health and personal care4.73107.9110.52.52.4
Recreation, education and reading12.20101.3101.80.30.5
Alcoholic beverages and tobacco products3.07126.6129.71.92.4
All-items (1992=100) 134.1135.71.31.2
Special aggregates     
All-items excluding food and energy73.57109.6111.11.31.4
Core CPI482.71110.9113.11.92.0

Random Thoughts will return next week, have a great weekend all.

Inflation in 2009


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