Canadian consumer prices rose 3.1% in the 12 months ending in June, driven by higher prices for gasoline

OTTAWA , July 22, 2011 () – Consumer prices rose 3.1% in the 12 months to June, primarily the result of higher prices for gasoline and food purchased from stores. This follows a 3.7% increase posted in May.

The 0.6 percentage point difference between the year-over-year increases posted in June and May was largely the result of lower prices for the purchase of passenger vehicles and traveller accommodation. In particular, prices for the purchase of passenger vehicles fell 3.1% in the 12 months to June, following a 0.7% increase in May. The smaller year-over-year increase in gasoline prices in June compared with May was also a factor.

Prices for food purchased from stores rose 4.8% in the 12 months to June after increasing 4.2% in May.

Energy prices advanced 15.7% during the 12 months to June, following a 16.6% increase in May. On a year-over-year basis, gasoline prices rose 28.5%, slightly less than the 29.5% gain in May. Prices for fuel oil and electricity also rose, while natural gas prices fell 4.6%.

Excluding food and energy, the Consumer Price Index (CPI) increased 1.4% in the 12 months to June.

Seasonally adjusted monthly CPI falls

On a seasonally adjusted monthly basis, consumer prices fell 0.4% from May to June, the first decrease since March 2010. The decrease follows a 0.2% gain posted the previous month. The transportation index, which includes gasoline and the purchase of passenger vehicles, declined 2.4% following a 0.1% rise in May.

The seasonally adjusted food index went up 0.2% in June, after gaining 0.5% in May. The household operations, furnishings and equipment index rose 0.5%, while the shelter index increased 0.2%.
12-month change: Prices increase in all major components

On a year-over-year basis, prices increased in all eight major components in June. However, except for two components (food as well as household operations, furnishings and equipment) the rate of increase in June was slower than it was in May.

The cost of transportation increased 7.0% in the 12 months to June, following a 9.1% gain in May. In addition to paying more for gasoline, consumers paid 4.4% more in passenger vehicle insurance premiums and 7.6% more for air transportation.

Prices for the purchase of passenger vehicles fell. This decline was mainly a result of larger discounts given by some manufacturers this year compared with June of last year.

Food prices rose 4.3% in the 12 months to June, after increasing 3.9% in May. There were broad-based price increases for food purchased from stores. Meat prices increased 5.9%, while consumers paid 7.2% more for bakery products with the cost of bread rising 10.1%. Prices for fresh vegetables increased 8.4%. Prices for food purchased from restaurants advanced 3.3%.

Shelter costs rose 1.7% in the 12 months to June. In addition to higher prices for fuel oil and electricity, homeowners' replacement cost increased 1.8%. However, mortgage interest cost, which measures the change in the interest portion of payments on outstanding mortgage debt, decreased 1.9%. Prices for natural gas also fell.

Prices for recreation, education and reading went up 1.7% after increasing 2.4% in May. Consumers paid more for cablevision and satellite services. Prices for traveller accommodation fell 2.9% after increasing 3.3% in May.
Provinces: Prices increase at a slower rate in every province

Consumer prices increased at a slower year-over-year rate in June compared with May in every province. Nova Scotia had the fastest increase in consumer prices (+4.4%), and Alberta the slowest (+2.1%).

Prices for the purchase of passenger vehicles were down in most provinces. Decreases ranged from 5.2% in Alberta to 1.4% in Quebec.

In Ontario, consumer prices went up 3.6% in the 12 months to June, after rising 4.0% in May. Consumers in Ontario paid 34.4% more for gasoline. Prices for food purchased from stores rose 5.8%, while prices for the purchase of passenger vehicles fell 3.3%.

In Quebec, consumer prices increased 3.0% following a 3.5% gain in May. Gasoline prices rose 26.7%. Consumers also paid more for food purchased from restaurants, meat and bakery products. Prices for the purchase of passenger vehicles fell.

Prices in British Columbia went up 2.7% in the 12 months to June, following a 3.1% increase in May. Gasoline prices increased 19.6%. Consumers in the province also paid more for food purchased from restaurants (+8.8%) as well as for homeowners' home and mortgage insurance.

In Alberta, prices advanced 2.1% after increasing 2.8% in May. Consumers in Alberta paid 27.4% more for gasoline. The cost of homeowners' home and mortgage insurance also went up. Conversely, prices for the purchase of passenger vehicles decreased.
Bank of Canada's core index

The Bank of Canada's core index advanced 1.3% in the 12 months to June, following a 1.8% gain in May. The slower increase in June was mostly attributable to the decline in prices for the purchase of passenger vehicles and traveller accommodation.

The seasonally adjusted monthly core index decreased 0.3% in June, after rising 0.2% in May.

For a more detailed analysis, consult the publication The Consumer Price Index.

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