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Inflation Slows in Canada (June 2011)

Stats Canada published on Friday the June 2011 Consumer Price Index numbers (for Canada), and they were better than the previous month, but still kind of high (if you use the Bank of Canada’s thresholds).

The year over year rate for June is 3.1% (about 0.6% lower than the year over year for May), which is better, but still not great.

The usual culprits were at the root of the increase, unfortunately the “domino effect” of energy prices is now finding it’s way into our food expenses as well:

Prices for food purchased from stores rose 4.8% in the 12 months to June after increasing 4.2% in May.

Energy prices advanced 15.7% during the 12 months to June, following a 16.6% increase in May. On a year-over-year basis, gasoline prices rose 28.5%, slightly less than the 29.5% gain in May. Prices for fuel oil and electricity also rose, while natural gas prices fell 4.6%.

Gas prices are just off the hook if we use the vernacular of the younger folks.

CPI June 2011 Canada
The bouncing CPI for the Past Little While

Without food and energy the price index really only went up 1.4%, but then again, who cares? Energy and food are the two killer expenses for most (if not all) of us, and excluding them is like saying if you exclude water and air pollution, things aren’t too bad on the Earth.

For the head scratching part of our data, dig the following statement about the Bank of Canada core index:

The Bank of Canada’s core index advanced 1.3% in the 12 months to June, following a 1.8% gain in May. The slower increase in June was mostly attributable to the decline in prices for the purchase of passenger vehicles and traveller accommodation.

What the hell are these guys measuring?!?! Well as long as it stays low on this scale, I guess interest rates won’t shoot up too fast (or too quickly), but I could be wrong on that one too.

The Really Big Table

What did each part of the index contribute to this increase? Have a look at this helpful table from Stats Canada and you can see the big culprits. Look for the BOLD RED numbers to help you out.

Consumer Price Index and major components, Canada – Not seasonally adjusted

Relative importance¹ June 2010 May 2011 June 2011 May to
June 2011
June 2010
to June 2011
% (2002=100) % change
All-items CPI 100.00² 116.2 120.6 119.8 -0.7 3.1
Food 15.99 123.0 127.7 128.3 0.5 4.3
Shelter 27.49 123.3 125.2 125.4 0.2 1.7
Household operations, furnishings and equipment 11.55 108.6 110.4 110.7 0.3 1.9
Clothing and footwear 5.31 89.7 93.7 90.4 -3.5 0.8
Transportation 20.60 117.3 128.9 125.5 -2.6 7.0
Health and personal care 4.95 114.7 117.2 116.9 -0.3 1.9
Recreation, education and reading 11.20 104.2 106.1 106.0 -0.1 1.7
Alcoholic beverages and tobacco products 2.91 132.2 135.7 135.6 -0.1 2.6
Special aggregates
Core CPI³ 82.15 115.6 117.8 117.1 -0.6 1.3
All-items CPI excluding energy 89.92 114.6 117.3 116.8 -0.4 1.9
Energy 10.08 135.7 160.2 157.0 -2.0 15.7
Gasoline 5.80 142.8 190.5 183.5 -3.7 28.5
All-items CPI excluding food and energy 73.93 112.7 115.0 114.3 -0.6 1.4
Goods 47.80 108.7 114.4 112.8 -1.4 3.8
Services 52.20 123.6 126.7 126.8 0.1 2.6
1. 2009 CPI basket weights at April 2011 prices, Canada, effective May 2011. Detailed weights are available under the Documentation section of survey 2301 (
2. Figures may not add to 100% as a result of rounding.
3. 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, consult the Bank of Canada website (

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