Consumer Price Index for May 2009: Nudges Up

in Bank of Canada, Bank Rates, Economy, Frugality, Inflation, Stats Canada

Stats Canada published their May 2009 numbers and they were up but only 0.1% over the previous twelve months, which is good to see (for those of us who worry about inflation).  This means that prices are supposedly only up 1/10 of 1% over the previous twelve months (as close as you can get to ZERO (without being zero)).

The number is a little deceiving since the report does say:

The slowdown in the 12-month Consumer Price Index (CPI) was primarily the result of an 18.3% year-over-year price drop for energy products. Excluding energy, the CPI rose 2.3%.

Thus without the drop in gas and energy prices CPI is actually around 2.3% which sounds more realistic. With the spiking of gas and oil prices for the summer this could make for more interesting numbers in the coming months, unfortunately.

Gas Prices Down (for Now)

The following graph is even more interesting and shows just how volatile gas prices have been for the past little while:

The Big Price Picture

So how did all of this break down? Energy prices down a great deal, however, food prices are UP a large amount as well, so we have two volatile components in the index, whereas most other components are quite calm.

This does not bode well for those on fixed incomes having to deal with higher food prices (as well as those that are living near the poverty line).

As usual I am including the “big table” to show you the components of the CPI and where the biggest jumps are:

Relative importMay 2008May 2009April 2008
to April 2009
May 2008
to May 2009
% change
Household operations and furnishings11.10104.3107.62.83.2
Clothing and footwear5.3693.
Health and personal care4.73108.6112.12.63.2
Recreation, education and reading12.20102.9103.80.80.9
Alcoholic beverages and tobacco products3.07127.4131.22.43.0
All-items (1992=100)136.4136.60.30.1
Special aggregates
All-items excluding food and energy73.57110.3111.71.21.3
Core CPI82.71111.5113.71.82.0

Inflation in 2009

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