Canada's Retail Services Price Index fell 0.2% in Q3 from Q2, the first quarterly decline since the index began in 2008; RSPI rose 2.5% from year-ago quarter

OTTAWA , February 9, 2012 () – The Retail Services Price Index (RSPI) declined slightly, by 0.2%, in the third quarter. This was the first quarter-over-quarter decline since the RSPI began in 2008.

Declines in the margins of gasoline stations (-2.0%), health and personal care stores (-1.3%) and sporting goods, hobby, book and music stores (-1.1%) were offset by increases in margins recorded by electronics and appliance stores (+2.0%), clothing and clothing accessories stores (+1.0%) and food and beverage stores (+0.7%).

Compared with the same quarter in 2010, the RSPI advanced 2.5% in the third quarter, down from the 2.8% year-over-year increase in the previous quarter. This is the first time the year-over-year increase has slowed since the third quarter of 2010.

Gasoline stations (+4.5%) continued to report the largest year-over-year margin increases in the third quarter, although the rate was slower than in the previous quarter (+7.4%). This coincides with a 23.0% rise in the retail price of gasoline between the third quarter of 2010 and the third quarter of 2011 as reported by the Consumer Price Index.

Year-over-year margin increases were also recorded by food and beverage stores (+4.3%), general merchandise stores (+2.7%) and building material and garden equipment and supplies dealers (+2.7%). Electronics and appliance stores (-6.6%) and health and personal care stores (-2.0%) recorded the only year-over-year declines of the RSPI.

Note: All data in this release are seasonally unadjusted and are subject to revision. With the release of the final fourth quarter data for any given year, finalized data for all quarters of that year are released at the same time.

The Retail Services Price Index (RSPI) is part of the Services Producer Price Index program at Statistics Canada. The RSPI is not a retail selling price index. The RSPI represents the change in the price of the retail service. The price of the retail service is defined as the margin price, which is the difference between the average purchase price and the average selling price of the retail product being priced.

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