Issue 17-77: Consumer Price Index (CPI)

July 21, 2017

British Columbia’s consumer price index (CPI) climbed 1.7% (unadjusted) in June compared to the same month of the previous year.  This marks a small decrease in the year-over-year rate of inflation since May, when it was 1.9 %.

According to Statistics Canada, the overall annual inflation rate of 1.7% rises to 1.8% when food is excluded from the index, and declines to 1.5% when energy is excluded.

The overall cost of food went up (1.1%) since June of last year. The cost of groceries purchased from stores went up slightly (0.6%), with the cost of meals purchased from restaurants also increasing (+2.4%) during the same time period.  Within the food category, the highest rise in prices were for fresh vegetables (+5.6%), fresh fruit (+5.5%), and fish and other seafood (+5.1%).  Prices fell in June for dairy products and eggs (-0.7%) and bakery and other cereal products (-0.2%).

The cost of shelter (+2.2%) went up in June, with costs for both renters (+1.3%) and home owners (+2.1%) rising.  Within the shelter category, the cost of piped gas (+9.1%), electricity (+3.4%), and fuel oil and other fuel (+2.8%) all increased since June 2016.

The transportation index (+1.4%) increased since June 2016, with the price of both private transportation (+1.0%) and public transportation (+3.7%) going up.  There was an increase in the price of gasoline (+3.5%) since June 2016, and travelers paid more for inter-city public transportation (+5.0%) compared to a year ago.

The overall cost of clothing and footwear went up slightly (+0.3%) in June, with prices increasing for both clothing (+0.2%) and footwear (+0.6%).

Compared to a year ago, consumers paid more for alcoholic beverages and tobacco products (+2.7%), recreation, education and reading (+2.5%), health and personal care (+1.6%), and household operations and furnishing (+1.2).  Within these categories, some items with significant price increases include reading material and other printed matter (+7.4%), cigarettes (+3.6%), and beer purchased from stores (+3.5%).

Consumer prices rose in both Vancouver (+1.8%) and Victoria (+1.8%) in June.

Canada’s CPI rose 1.0% (unadjusted) in June.  Provincial inflation rates ranged from a high of 2.0% in New Brunswick to a low of 0.2% in Manitoba.  The rate of inflation in B.C. ranks second highest among the provinces.

Source: Statistics Canada