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CPI Up A Little to Start 2014 in Canada

in Inflation, Stats Canada

Friday our friends at Stats Canada came out with their Consumer Price Index for the year ending in January 2014 and it ran (year over year) at 1.5% (the previous month it was at 1.2%) which continues on with the less than 2.0% goals set by the Bank of Canada.

The graph showing inflation looks more dramatic than it actually is, given it is bobbing up and down around 2.0% mostly over the past little while.

Inflation from Stats Canada

Inflation for the Past Little While (courtesy Stats Canada)

One of the leading contributors is the price of electricity, and in Ottawa this is a very hot topic with Ottawa Hydro “changing their billing periods” and thus messing around with billing amounts and such. Ellen Roseman has written an article in the Ottawa SUN about it and there have been many horror stories so far with this “small administrative change”. Ontario Hydro has also promised astronomical fee rate hikes, that may make more of us look at Solar and other alternate power ideas much more seriously.

Stats Canada highlights this in the following statement:

The year-over-year increase in the CPI was led by higher shelter costs, which rose 2.1% in January. This followed a 1.9% gain in December. Electricity prices increased 4.7% in the 12 months to January, after rising 4.1% the previous month. Consumers also paid more for rent (+1.6%) and for homeowners’ home and mortgage insurance (+5.4%) in January compared with the same month a year earlier.

The scary part of this is for Ontarians, this is only going to get worse for the next few years. Thanks Minister Chiarelli for sharing this gift with us.

Actual Stats Canada

Actual CPI For Past Little While (courtesy Stats Canada)

Inflation last year at this time?

Inflation at this time last year was 0.5%, holy cow!

The Big Book of Price Increases

No relation to the Simpson’s own Big Book of British Smiles, but one of the large price tables from the Stats Canada website, well worth checking out.

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

 

Relative importance1

January 2013

December 2013

January 2014

Dec 2013 to
Jan 2014

Jan  2013
to Jan  2014

 

%

(2002=100)

% change

All-items Consumer Price Index (CPI)

100.002

121.3

122.7

123.1

0.3

1.5

Food

16.60

131.6

132.5

133.0

0.4

1.1

Shelter

26.26

127.8

129.9

130.5

0.5

2.1

Household operations, furnishings and equipment

12.66

113.5

114.7

114.7

0.0

1.1

Clothing and footwear

5.82

87.9

89.4

89.2

-0.2

1.5

Transportation

19.98

126.7

128.5

129.2

0.5

2.0

Health and personal care

4.93

118.5

118.1

118.3

0.2

-0.2

Recreation, education and reading

10.96

103.7

105.3

104.7

-0.6

1.0

Alcoholic beverages and tobacco products

2.79

138.9

141.2

140.9

-0.2

1.4

Special aggregates
Core CPI3

84.91

119.6

121.0

121.3

0.2

1.4

All-items CPI excluding energy

91.44

118.7

119.9

120.1

0.2

1.2

Energy4

8.56

152.8

158.9

160.2

0.8

4.8

Gasoline

4.62

171.6

179.7

179.5

-0.1

4.6

All-items CPI excluding food and energy

74.85

115.9

117.1

117.3

0.2

1.2

Goods

48.18

112.9

113.8

114.2

0.4

1.2

Services

51.82

129.6

131.7

131.9

0.2

1.8

1. 2011 CPI basket weights at January 2013 prices, Canada, effective February 2013. Detailed weights are available under the Documentation section of survey 2301 (www.statcan.gc.ca/imdb-bmdi/2301-eng.htm).

2. Figures may not add up to 100% as a result of rounding.

3. The Bank of Canada’s core index excludes eight of the CPI’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, consult the Bank of Canada website (www.bankofcanada.ca/rates/indicators/key-variables/inflation-control-target/).

4. The special aggregate “Energy” includes: electricity; natural gas; fuel oil and other fuels; gasoline; and fuel, parts and supplies for recreational vehicles.

 

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