The Consumer Price Index Edged Up 3.4% in April

The Consumer Price Index edged up 3.4 % in April, on a year-over-year basis reported Statistics Canada. This was a percentage gain from the 2.2% rise seen in March. 

A significant proportion of this increase was attributable to a steep decline in prices in April 2020, as the monthly CPI rose 0.5% in April 2021,” explained Statistics Canada in its report.

Excluding the price of gasoline, the CPI increased 1.6% over the last 12-month span. In April, the CPI rose 0.6% on a seasonally adjusted monthly basis.

(Source: Statistics Canada)

 

Gasoline Index

In April, gas prices soared 62.5%, on a year-over-year basis – marking “the largest year-over-year increase on record”.  

“The gain in gasoline prices was mainly driven by steep price declines in April 2020, when gasoline fell 15.2% month over month as a result of limited travel, temporary business closures, and lower levels of international trade, which created an oversupply of gasoline in the market.

In addition, the rise in gasoline prices was partially attributable to the maintenance of production cuts by OPEC+ countries (countries from the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries Plus), amid increased demand,” explained Stats Can.

(Source: Statistics Canada)

 

Shelter Index

In April, the index for shelter increased 3.2% over the past 12-months period. This marked a rise from the 2.4% increase seen in March.

“The homeowners’ replacement cost index (+9.1%) continued to trend upwards, posting its largest gain since April 1989. Higher building costs and demand for single-family homes contributed to an increase in prices for newly built homes,” said Statistics Canada.

(Source: Statistics Canada)

 

Food Index

In April, the overall price of food increased at a slower rate of 0.9%, compared to the 1.8% rise seen in March.

“The slowdown was partly attributable to lower prices for fresh vegetables (-7.2%), as prices for tomatoes fell 29.8% on a year-over-year basis as a result of increased supply. Higher prices for dry and preserved foods in April 2020, when demand for non-perishable food products heightened as a result of public health measures, had a downward impact on the food price index in April 2021,” explained Statistics Canada in its report.

Statistics Canada released a statement pertaining to the COVID-19 Pandemic and the CPI

“For more information about the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the Consumer Price Index (CPI) during the first year of the pandemic, please consult the research document entitled “The Consumer Price Index and COVID-19: A One-Year Retrospective,” published as part of the Prices Analytical Series (62F0014M). This publication explores the sources of pandemic-related price change and the ongoing impact of base-year effects on the headline CPI. Statistics Canada continues to monitor the impacts of the novel coronavirus (also known as COVID-19) on Canada’s CPI. Goods and services in the CPI that were not available to consumers in April because of COVID-19 restrictions received special treatments, which effectively removed their impact on the monthly CPI. The values for the following sub-indexes were imputed from the monthly change in the all-items index: travel tours, some components of spectator entertainment, recreational services, personal care services in some areas, and some components of use of recreational facilities and services in some areas. The price indexes for beer served in licensed establishments, wine served in licensed establishments and liquor served in licensed establishments were imputed in several regions, using the indexes to which consumers likely redirected their expenditures: beer purchased from stores, wine purchased from stores and liquor purchased from stores. Consistent with previous months affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, prices for suspended flights were excluded from the April CPI calculation because passengers were ultimately unable to consume them. As a result, select sub-components of the air transportation index were imputed from the parent index (air transportation). The details of these treatments from April 2020 to March 2021 are provided in technical supplements available through the Prices Analytical Series (62F0014M). Details and treatments for April 2021 are available upon request.”

Sarah Bauder

Sarah has been writing on the topics of politics, history and finance for over a decade. She is currently an editor at CPI Inflation Calculator, covering the topics of CPI, inflation, US economy and economic commentary.