Issue 16-144: Consumer Price Index (CPI)

July 22, 2016

British Columbia’s consumer price index (CPI) climbed 2.0% (unadjusted) in June, compared to the same month of the previous year. This marks an increase in the year-over-year rate of inflation since May, when it was 1.7%.

According to Statistics Canada, the overall annual inflation rate of 2.0% increases to 2.5% when energy is excluded from the index. Removing food from the index has no impact on the overall rate of inflation.

The overall cost of food rose by 1.7% since June of last year, with the cost of both groceries purchased from stores (+1.3%) and meals purchased from restaurants (+2.5%) increasing. The rise in grocery prices was mainly due to increases in the cost of fish and other seafood (+6.8%), fresh fruit (+5.3%), and other food products (+2.2%). The cost of meat (-0.1%) and dairy products and eggs (-0.1%) declined slightly.

The cost of shelter (+1.7%) went up in June, with costs for both renters (+0.9%) and home owners (+2.4%) rising. Within the shelter category, the cost of electricity increased (+4.1%) since June 2015, while the price of both piped gas (‑13.2%) and fuel oil and other fuel (-4.8%) fell.

The transportation index (+2.3%) increased since June of last year, with the cost of both private transportation (+2.0%) and public transportation (+3.7%) going up. Within the transportation category, the cost of inter-city public transportion went up (+4.8%) in June, while the cost of gasoline fell (-7.7%), marking the fifth consecutive month in which gasoline prices declined on a year-over-year basis. 

The overall cost of clothing and footwear increased (+2.6%) in June, with the cost of both clothing (+2.9%) and footwear (+2.3%) going up.
Compared to a year ago, consumers paid more for alcoholic beverages and tobacco products (+2.7%), health & personal care (+2.2%), recreation, education & reading (+2.1%), and household operations & furnishings (+2.1%). Some items with notable price increases within these categories are reading material and other printed matter (+10.2%), and beer (+4.6%) and liquor (+4.4%) purchased from stores.

Consumer prices rose in Vancouver (+2.4%) in June, above the rate of inflation for British Columbia as a whole, while in Victoria the increase in prices (+1.8%) was slightly less than B.C. as a whole.

Canada’s CPI rose 1.5% (unadjusted) in June. Provincial inflation rates ranged from a high of 2.4% in Newfoundland and Labrador, to a low of 06% in Quebec.

Source: Statistics Canada