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Inflation Up a Little in February in Canada

Back on Wednesday last week (hey I’ve taken some time off, cut me some slack), our friends at Stats Canada published their Consumer Price Index Report for February 2013  and it’s news continued to be encouraging, in that inflation continues to run at a relatively low 1.2% (year over year).

Last month the CPI rate was at a petit 0.5% year over year so this is a 140% jump over last month’s rate, however it is still well below the traditional 2.0% HOLY CRAP INFLATION Line.

Inflation in Canada for Past Little While
CPI Yearly Rate for the Past Little While

That big jump at the end of the graph actually does look quite dramatic, doesn’t it?

Who was a big culprit in this steep jump? You guessed it gasoline, to quote our friends at Stats Canada:

Gasoline prices advanced 3.9% year over year in February following a 1.8% decrease in January. On a monthly basis, gasoline prices rose 8.4% in February, the largest monthly increase since May 2008.

I think I could have guessed that one without reading the report, given the gouging I have seen in the Ottawa area for Gas. The dramatic differences by area is interesting too (in Ottawa Gas yesterday was $1.24 per liter, in Carleton Place it was $1.15 and in Peterborough it was $1.27).

If you want a much more depressing picture, have a look at this one:

Seasonally Adjusted CPI for the Past Little While

Sad eh? Remember the rate started a while ago, but it sums up nicely how the price of everything has gone up!

Bank of Canada’s core index

Remember our amigos at the Bank of Canada do their inflationary calculations in a different way:

The Bank of Canada’s core index rose 1.4% in the 12 months to February, following a 1.0% advance in January.

On a monthly basis, the seasonally adjusted core index rose 0.4% in February, after increasing 0.1% in January.

So the advance in this index’s increase is only 40% higher, doubt this will be the reason the B of C might tighten their purse strings (but I have been wrong before).

The Really Big Table

The Big Tables are where you really see why things are so much more expensive, so check them all out at Stats Canada, but here is a good one to whet your appetite:

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

Relative import1 Feb 2012 January 2013 February 2013 January to February 2013 February 2012 to February 2013
% (2002=100) % change
All-items Consumer Price Index (CPI) 100.002 121.2 121.3 122.7 1.2 1.2
Food 16.60 130.4 131.6 132.9 1.0 1.9
Shelter 26.26 126.9 127.8 127.9 0.1 0.8
Household operations, furnishings and equipment 12.66 112.8 113.5 114.3 0.7 1.3
Clothing and footwear 5.82 91.9 87.9 91.4 4.0 -0.5
Transportation 19.98 127.8 126.7 130.3 2.8 2.0
Health and personal care 4.93 118.4 118.5 118.6 0.1 0.2
Recreation, education and reading 10.96 103.7 103.7 104.7 1.0 1.0
Alcoholic beverages and tobacco products 2.79 136.6 138.9 139.4 0.4 2.0
Special aggregates
Core CPI3 84.91 118.9 119.6 120.6 0.8 1.4
All-items CPI excluding energy 91.44 118.3 118.7 119.7 0.8 1.2
Energy4 8.56 156.9 152.8 160.1 4.8 2.0
Gasoline 4.62 179.2 171.6 186.1 8.4 3.9
All-items CPI excluding food and energy 74.85 115.6 115.9 116.9 0.9 1.1
Goods 48.18 114.1 112.9 115.2 2.0 1.0
Services 51.82 128.2 129.6 130.1 0.4 1.5
1.2011 CPI basket weights at January 2013 prices, Canada, effective February 2013. 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 ).
4.The special aggregate “Energy” includes: electricity; natural gas; fuel oil and other fuels; gasoline; and fuel, parts and supplies for recreational vehicles.

Feel Free to Comment

  1. I was printing off a summary of our bills for the past 5 years, and discovered the amount we pay for natural gas now (and this year was reasonably cold) is almost half what we paid 5 years ago. That’s the dubious “benefit” of shale gas frac’ing. If a major (water) aquifer gets contaminated we could see some amazing “inflation” in the price of nat gas, when in reality it would be just returning to its older prices.

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