Canada's Consumer Price Index fell 0.1% in December on a monthly basis, increasing 4.8% year-over-year, up from a 4.7% gain in November; transportation and shelter prices contributed the most to the all-items annual increase: Statistics Canada

Sample article from our Housing & Economy

OTTAWA , January 19, 2022 (press release) –

Canadians continued to feel the impact of rising prices for groceries in December, as unfavourable weather conditions during the growing season and supply chain disruptions put upward pressure on prices. Supply chain disruptions also led to higher prices for durable goods, including passenger vehicles and household appliances, while higher construction costs and the increased frequency and severity of weather events contributed to rising home and mortgage insurance costs.

The Consumer Price Index (CPI) rose 4.8% on a year-over-year basis in December, up from a 4.7% gain in November. Excluding gasoline, the CPI rose 4.0% year over year.

On a monthly basis, the CPI fell 0.1% in December, following a 0.2% increase in November. This was the first monthly decline since December 2020, as gasoline prices fell in response to lower demand amid the spread of the Omicron COVID-19 variant.

Highlights
The Consumer Price Index (CPI) rose 4.8% on a year-over-year basis in December, up from a 4.7% gain in November.

Headline CPI grew at a faster pace compared with November, due in part to higher prices for food (+5.2%), passenger vehicles (+7.2%) and homeowners' home and mortgage insurance (+9.3%). Excluding gasoline, the CPI rose 4.0% year over year.

On a monthly basis, the CPI fell 0.1% in December, following a 0.2% increase in November. This was the first monthly decline since December 2020.

On a seasonally adjusted monthly basis, the CPI was up 0.3%.

Prices rose in all eight major components on a year-over-year basis in December. Transportation and shelter prices contributed the most to the increase in the CPI.

Year over year, prices for services (+3.4%) rose at a faster pace in December compared with November (+2.9%). Prices for goods (+6.8%) grew at a slightly slower pace than in November (+6.9%), moderating the price growth in the CPI. Gasoline prices rose to a lesser extent in December (+33.3%) than in November (+43.6%), contributing to the slowdown in goods prices.

Inflation is often compared with changes to average wages. In December 2021, the CPI rose 4.8% on a year-over-year basis. Wage data, which maintains employment composition by occupation and tenure from the Labour Force Survey, found that wages rose 2.6% during the same period, meaning that, on average, prices rose faster than wages, and Canadians experienced a decline in purchasing power.

Chart 1: 12-month change in the Consumer Price Index (CPI) and CPI excluding gasoline

Chart 1: 12-month change in the Consumer Price Index (CPI) and CPI excluding gasoline

Prices for groceries continue to climb
Grocery prices continued to climb in December, rising 5.7% year over year, the largest yearly increase since November 2011. Prices for fresh fruit (+5.6%), including apples (+6.7%), oranges (+6.6%) and bananas (+2.5%), increased on a year-over-year basis. Unfavourable weather conditions in growing regions, as well as supply chain disruptions, led to higher prices for households.

In addition, prices for bakery products rose 4.7% year over year, as drought during the summer months reduced wheat crop yields, in turn raising prices for shoppers.

Chart 2: Prices rise in all eight major components

Chart 2: Prices rise in all eight major components

Prices for durable goods increase at a faster pace
On a yearly basis, prices for durable goods rose at a faster pace in December (+5.7%) than in November (+5.5%). A durable good is a product that can be used repeatedly or continuously over a period of more than one year. Consumers who purchased a new vehicle in December paid 7.2% more than those who did so in December 2020, as the global shortage of semiconductor chips continued to elevate prices.

Consumers who purchased household appliances, like refrigerators and freezers (+13.9%) and laundry and dishwashing appliances (+10.4%), paid 8.9% more in December 2021 compared with December 2020. This was the largest yearly gain since June 1982. The movement is largely attributable to an increase in demand amid global supply chain disruptions.

Homeowners pay more for home and mortgage insurance
With the recent increases in construction costs, mainly due to higher prices for building supplies, Canadian homeowners paid 9.3% more for home and mortgage insurance in December 2021 compared with December 2020. An increase in the frequency and severity of weather-related claims, such as those related to fires and flooding, may have also contributed to higher rates.

Gasoline prices increase at a slower rate year over year
Year over year, gasoline prices rose to a lesser extent in December (+33.3%) than in November (+43.6%).

On a monthly basis, Canadian drivers paid less at the pumps as gasoline prices fell 4.1%, the largest monthly decline since April 2020. The tightening of public health restrictions in response to the new Omicron variant weighed on demand for gasoline.

Chart 3: Gasoline prices decrease month over month

Chart 3: Gasoline prices decrease month over month

Prices for air transportation rise amid strong demand for air travel
Month over month, Canadians paid 24.7% more for airfare in December, after a 3.1% drop in November. Strong demand for air travel during the holiday season contributed to the monthly price increase, which was similar to the movement in December 2019 (+23.4%), before the pandemic.

Infographic 1: Monthly price change for air transportation

Thumbnail for Infographic 1: Monthly price change for air transportation

Regional highlights
Year over year, prices rose at a faster pace in December than in November in four provinces. The increase in Alberta (+4.8%) was largely attributable to higher prices for natural gas (+35.5%) and electricity (+33.8%). Ontarians paid more for household appliances (+11.8%), contributing to the price growth in Ontario (+5.2%) in December.

Chart 4: The Consumer Price Index rises at a faster pace in four provinces

Chart 4: The Consumer Price Index rises at a faster pace in four provinces

Note to readers
COVID-19 and the Consumer Price Index
In December 2021, no special treatments for good and services due to the COVID-19 pandemic were required. However, Statistics Canada continues to monitor the impacts of the new Omicron variant on the Consumer Price Index (CPI).

The details of the special treatments from April 2020 to March 2021 are provided in technical supplements available through the Prices Analytical Series. Details and other treatment information for April 2021 and onwards are available upon request.

The CPI is continuously evolving to incorporate the most timely and accurate data sources and methods. In the coming months, new sources of administrative data will be introduced for the mortgage interest cost index and the cellular services price index. Work is also underway to include the price of used cars and trucks, and users will be informed in advance of this change.

Real-time data tables
Real-time data table 18-10-0259-01 will be updated on January 31, 2022. For more information, consult the document "Real-time data tables."

Next release
The Consumer Price Index for January 2022 will be released on February 16, 2022.

The adjusted price index for October 2021 to December 2021 will be released on February 24, 2022.

Products
The "Consumer Price Index Data Visualization Tool" is available on the Statistics Canada website.

More information on the concepts and use of the Consumer Price Index (CPI) is available in The Canadian Consumer Price Index Reference Paper (Catalogue number62-553-X).

For information on the history of the CPI in Canada, consult the publication Exploring the First Century of Canada's Consumer Price Index (Catalogue number62-604-X).

Two videos, "An Overview of Canada's Consumer Price Index (CPI)" and "The Consumer Price Index and Your Experience of Price Change," are available on Statistics Canada's YouTube channel.

Contact information
For more information, or to enquire about the concepts, methods or data quality of this release, contact us (toll-free 1-800-263-1136; 514-283-8300; infostats@statcan.gc.ca) or Media Relations (statcan.mediahotline-ligneinfomedias.statcan@statcan.gc.ca).

Industry Intelligence Editor's Note: This press release omits select charts and/or marketing language for editorial clarity. Click here to view the full report.

* All content is copyrighted by Industry Intelligence, or the original respective author or source. You may not recirculate, redistrubte or publish the analysis and presentation included in the service without Industry Intelligence's prior written consent. Please review our terms of use.

More from our Housing & Economy Coverage
See our dashboard in action - schedule an demo
Dan Rivard
Dan Rivard
- VP Market Development -

We offer built-to-order housing & economy coverage for our clients. Contact us for a free consultation.

About Us

We deliver market news & information relevant to your business.

We monitor all your market drivers.

We aggregate, curate, filter and map your specific needs.

We deliver the right information to the right person at the right time.

Our Contacts

1990 S Bundy Dr. Suite #380,
Los Angeles, CA 90025

+1 (310) 553 0008

About Cookies On This Site

We collect data, including through use of cookies and similar technology ("cookies") that enchance the online experience. By clicking "I agree", you agree to our cookies, agree to bound by our Terms of Use, and acknowledge our Privacy Policy. For more information on our data practices and how to exercise your privacy rights, please see our Privacy Policy.