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CPI still Hot for November in Canada

Our friends at Stats Canada published the November CPI numbers for Canada yesterday and the good news is that the rate of growth has not changed from October, however it is still relatively high at 2.9%. This increase is in spite of Gasoline prices moderating, and is caused mostly by food price increases (which hurts everyone).

Consumer prices rose 2.9% in the 12 months to November, matching the increase in October. While the 12-month change in gasoline prices continued to ease, the year-over-year increase in food prices remained high.

It seems like Gas and Food take turns on who(m) will be the key element to keep driving inflation, but food prices are most certainly up in the Ottawa area, whereas gasoline has been dropping slowly in price (although I do fully expect a Christmas spike in the next few days).

Gas Price Changes

As you can see Gas prices are moderating (somewhat), but then again, while the price is moderating, it isn’t really dropping by that much either. I guess those folks who bought Hybrids 2 years ago are chuckling to themselves.

CPI With and Without Food

More interesting is seeing CPI not including food, which makes the whole CPI thing a non-issue (in my opinion). Food prices jumping hurts everyone, especially lower income folks or fixed income folks.

Erosion of your Spending Dollar

This graph is really telling, because it shows the erosion of the value of your earned dollars compared to inflation, not the steepness of the curve lately? Never a good thing.

Bank of Canada’s core index

The Bank of Canada’s core index, which excludes eight of the Consumer Price Index’s most volatile components as well as the effects of changes in indirect taxes on the remaining components, rose 2.1% in the 12 months to November. This matched the rise posted in October. Increases were recorded for passenger vehicle insurance premiums, meat and bakery products.

This is better news for interest rates, but inflation does continue it’s slow methodical upward push, and when will higher interest rates be coming? I have no idea any more.

The Big Table

For my regular readers here is my favorite part of the Stats Canada report, the Big Table which shows each part of the index, enjoy it and look closely!

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

  Relative import¹ Nov 2010 Oct 2011 Nov 2011 Oct to Nov 2011 Nov 2010 to Nov 2011
  % (2002=100) % change
All-items Consumer Price Index (CPI) 100.00² 117.5 120.8 120.9 0.1 2.9
Food 15.99 123.3 128.0 129.2 0.9 4.8
Shelter 27.49 124.4 126.5 126.3 -0.2 1.5
Household operations, furnishings and equipment 11.55 109.5 111.9 112.1 0.2 2.4
Clothing and footwear 5.31 92.1 96.1 93.1 -3.1 1.1
Transportation 20.60 120.7 126.5 127.6 0.9 5.7
Health and personal care 4.95 116.1 117.4 117.9 0.4 1.6
Recreation, education and reading 11.20 104.3 106.0 104.8 -1.1 0.5
Alcoholic beverages and tobacco products 2.91 134.6 135.8 135.8 0.0 0.9
Special aggregates            
Core CPI³ 82.15 116.3 118.7 118.8 0.1 2.1
All-items CPI excluding energy 89.92 115.6 117.9 118.2 0.3 2.2
Energy 10.08 141.3 156.9 154.1 -1.8 9.1
Gasoline 5.80 154.4 179.4 175.2 -2.3 13.5
All-items CPI excluding food and energy 73.93 113.9 115.6 115.7 0.1 1.6
Goods 47.80 110.1 113.9 113.8 -0.1 3.4
Services 52.20 125.0 127.7 127.8 0.1 2.2
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 Bank of Canada’s core index excludes eight of the Consumer Price Index’s most volatile components (fruit, fruit preparations and nuts; vegetables and vegetable preparations; mortgage interest cost; natural gas; fuel oil and other fuels; gasoline; inter-city transportation; and tobacco products and smokers’ supplies) as well as the effects of changes in indirect taxes on the remaining components. For additional information on the core CPI, please consult the Bank of Canada website (

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