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CPI Jumps to 2.0 in April 2014 in Canada

in Inflation, Stats Canada

CPI Takes a Jump in April 2014

Our friends at Stats Canada published on Friday their Consumer Price Index Report for the year ending April 2014, and it seems like our economy is starting to heat up, with inflation running year to year at about 2.0% . Last month year over year we were only at 1.5%, so this could be either a one month “blip” or the start of full blown inflation returning to our happy economic world (haven’t seen much of it in the past 10 years or so).

Specifically they stated:

The Consumer Price Index (CPI) rose 2.0% in the 12 months to April, following a 1.5% increase in March. The rise in April was the largest since April 2012.

The old energy bugaboo has come back to visit, and given the prices of gasoline in Ottawa, I am not surprised. Specifically the terrible triad I am seeing are:

  1. Automobile Gasoline prices that keep yo-yo’ing however, they never quite go down as low as they did previously.
  2. Electrical costs sky-rocketing (in Ontario the good)
  3. Natural Gas prices jumping 40% due to it being a “cold winter” (that is an exact quote from Enbridge).

Without energy being included inflation is running about 1.4%, so you can see the direct impact of this in the CPI, and how these price jumps work in the background of other costs (like shipping costs, and storage costs, etc.,) remains to be seen trickling through the numbers over the next few months.

CPI

Figure 1 Year Over Year Inflation with and without Energy included for Past While

 

Figure (1) is a nice graph illustrating just how energy prices can skew the data badly for CPI.

Before we jump all over Energy costs as being the sole reason we are paying more, there is another useful graphic to look at here:

Prices by Category

Figure 2 Price Increase in all major components

Figure (2) shows that SIN is becoming more expensive as well (Booze, Tobacco) , putting a roof over our heads is costly as well, and driving to work isn’t getting cheaper either. Life is getting more expensive every day.

What Does the Bank of Canada Think?

As we know the Bank of Canada has it’s own measurement of the CPI and using the Bank of Canada Core Index yardstick prices only rose (year over year) 1.4%, which is just below the “economy working OK” window that the Bank has published, but will this mean they aren’t thinking about raising interest rates to cool things down? That only time will tell.

The Really Big Table

Figure (2) is showing us graphically what is more expensive, but this table is showing us the real numbers this is all based on.

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

  Relative import1 April 2013 March 2014 April 2014 Mar to
Apr 2014
Apr 2013
to Apr 2014
  % (2002=100) % change
All-items Consumer Price Index (CPI) 100.002 122.7 124.8 125.2 0.3 2.0
Food 16.60 132.1 134.4 134.6 0.1 1.9
Shelter 26.26 128.2 131.4 132.4 0.8 3.3
Household operations, furnishings and equipment 12.66 114.3 115.7 115.5 -0.2 1.0
Clothing and footwear 5.82 94.7 94.0 95.0 1.1 0.3
Transportation 19.98 128.6 131.7 132.2 0.4 2.8
Health and personal care 4.93 118.6 118.1 118.9 0.7 0.3
Recreation, education and reading 10.96 105.2 106.5 106.2 -0.3 1.0
Alcoholic beverages and tobacco products 2.79 140.1 145.3 145.1 -0.1 3.6
Special aggregates
Core CPI3 84.91 121.0 122.5 122.7 0.2 1.4
All-items CPI excluding energy 91.44 119.9 121.5 121.6 0.1 1.4
Energy4 8.56 158.0 167.2 171.2 2.4 8.4
Gasoline 4.62 181.3 189.2 193.2 2.1 6.6
All-items CPI excluding food and energy 74.85 117.2 118.6 118.8 0.2 1.4
Goods 48.18 114.9 117.0 117.5 0.4 2.3
Services 51.82 130.3 132.5 132.9 0.3 2.0

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.

 

 

 

{ 3 comments }

  • LifeInsuranceCanada.com May 27, 2014, 1:38 PM

    >>>given the prices of gasoline in Ottawa

    I just paid $1.36 at the gas station at the corner of Woodroff and Fallowfield. Down the road it was $1.29. Sigh.

    I also bought a candy bar and beef jerky from the same gas station (I just did the Ottawa half marathon, I needed food). I realized the beef jerky was moldy after my first bite so I discarded it and bit into the snickers bar instead – also bad. How long does it take before a snickers bar is inedible? I don’t want to know.

    Ottawa marathon? Outstanding. Gas in Ottawa? Not so much :).

    Reply
    • bigcajunman May 27, 2014, 1:45 PM

      Beef Jerky can go off? Wow, next thing you’ll be saying is Twinkies can go bad! Congrats on running the 1/2 Marathon though.

      Reply
  • Big Cajun Man May 27, 2014, 1:27 PM

    Glenn said you can’t post a comment here, that seems odd.

    Reply

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