CPI For April 2009 at 0.4% Wow

in Bank of Canada, Inflation, Stats Canada

Stats Canada published the CPI numbers yesterday and it was surprisingly low, at 0.4% for the entire 12 month period ending in April 2009. If you don’t count food the CPI was actually down by 1.1% over the previous 12 months, however if you don’t count energy the actual inflation is up 2.4% which just goes to show that food and energy are major standard deviation stretchers for the statistical data (in fact it’s not really a curve with a single Normal).

Food Up, Up, Up

The report says about food:

Prices increases for food were widespread in the 12 months to April. Large increases were recorded for fresh vegetables (+26.0%), fresh fruit (+16.8%), cereal products (+9.6%), beef (+9.0%) and chicken (+9.0%).

These numbers are wild. Fresh veggies have been on the rise but the reason why is not really obvious, unless you view it as an echo of last year’s gas price gouging (which seems to be returning this summer as well). 

Energy and Transport Down, Down, Down

Two significant price drops were in Energy and Transport costs in general:

Gasoline prices fell 24.7% from April 2008 to April 2009 following a 12-month decline of 21.0% in March. The 12-month decline in April was due more to high prices in 2008 than to recent developments. On a month-to-month basis, gasoline prices rose 1.0% from March to April….

…. Natural gas prices fell 17.5% in the 12 months to April, following a 9.5% increase in March. Natural gas prices fell in most provinces, especially in Alberta and Ontario, where large drops largely accounted for the overall decrease…..

This explains why my Natural Gas bill is dropping, but Gasoline prices are starting to creep back up to $1 per liter again, even with little pressure on supplies, wonder why?

 

CPI for April 2009

CPI for April 2009

The Really Big Picture

  (2002=100)
  Relative importance2 April 2008 April 2009 March 2008 to March 2009 April 2008 to April 2009
  Unadjusted
        % change
All-items 100.003 113.5 113.9 1.2 0.4
Food 17.04 113.5 121.6 7.9 7.1
Shelter 26.62 121.2 121.4 2.1 0.2
Household operations and furnishings 11.10 104.4 107.3 2.6 2.8
Clothing and footwear 5.36 94.3 95.1 -0.3 0.8
Transportation 19.88 120.1 110.5 -6.2 -8.0
Health and personal care 4.73 108.3 111.1 2.4 2.6
Recreation, education and reading 12.20 101.6 102.4 0.5 0.8
Alcoholic beverages and tobacco products 3.07 126.7 129.7 2.4 2.4
All-items (1992=100)   135.1 135.5 1.2 0.3
Special aggregates          
Goods 48.78 109.2 107.0 -0.5 -2.0
Services 51.22 117.7 120.7 2.8 2.5
All-items excluding food and energy 73.57 109.9 111.2 1.4 1.2
Energy 9.38 150.2 123.9 -11.2 -17.5
Core CPI4 82.71 111.2 113.2 2.0 1.8
The month-to-month percentage changes are available from the monthly publication The Consumer Price Index.
2005 CPI basket weights at April 2007 prices, Canada: Effective May 2007. Detailed weights are available under the Documentation section of survey 2301 at (www.statcan.gc.ca/imdb-bmdi/index-eng.htm).
Figures may not add to 100% due to rounding.
The measure of Core Consumer Price Index (CPI) excludes from the all-items CPI the effect of changes in indirect taxes and eight of the most volatile components identified by the Bank of Canada: fruit, fruit preparations and nuts; vegetables and vegetable preparations; mortgage interest cost; natural gas; fuel oil and other fuel; gasoline; inter-city transportation; and tobacco products and smokers’ supplies. For additional information on Core CPI, please consult the Bank of Canada web site (www.bankofcanada.ca/en/inflation/index.htm).

{ 2 comments }

  • nancy (aka money coach) May 21, 2009, 10:48 PM

    That scares me. Almost all the items in that “basket of goods” have a measure of discretion built into them, but food? We gotta eat, pure and simple. I’m going to try to do a bit of gardening up here in Yellowknife (wish me luck!) so that should help for 3 months at least.

    Reply

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