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Consumer Cost

Consumer Price Index for January 2016

Ottawa - The Consumer Price Index (CPI) rose 2.0% in the 12 months to January, after increasing 1.6% in December. In January, gasoline prices were up on a year-over-year basis for the first time since October 2014; this occurred despite a monthly decline of 6.0%. The upward contribution of gasoline to the change in the CPI closed the gap between the all-items CPI and the all-items CPI excluding gasoline.

12-month change in the major components

Prices rose in seven of the eight major components on a year-over-year basis in January, with the food and transportation indexes contributing the most to the rise in the CPI. The clothing and footwear index was the only major component to decline on a year-over-year basis in January.

Food prices were up 4.0% in the 12 months to January, after rising 3.7% in December. This acceleration was attributable to a gain in prices for food purchased from stores, which rose 4.6% year over year in January, after increasing 4.1% the previous month. Prices for fresh vegetables were up 18.2% in the 12 months to January, following a 13.3% increase in December. The other fresh vegetables index, which includes broccoli, cauliflower, celery and peppers among other products, registered its largest year-over-year increase (+22.7%) since April 2009. Meat prices rose less in the 12 months to January than in December. Prices for food purchased from restaurants were up 2.5% year over year in January, following a 2.8% increase the previous month.

The transportation index rose 2.2% year over year in January, following a 0.6% increase in December. The acceleration was led by the gasoline index, which was up 2.1% in the 12 months to January, after declining 4.8% the previous month. In addition, the purchase of passenger vehicles index was up more on a year-over-year basis in January than the previous month.

The clothing and footwear index decreased 0.3% year over year in January, after posting a 0.7% increase in December. The decline was led by the men's clothing index, which was down 1.4% in the 12 months to January, following a 0.8% increase the previous month. In January, consumers paid 1.4% less for footwear compared with the same month a year earlier.

12-month change in the provinces

In all provinces, consumer prices rose more in January than in December on a year-over-year basis, with Newfoundland and Labrador and New Brunswick posting the largest gains. The acceleration in the year-over-year increase in consumer prices was led by the gasoline index in every province, except British Columbia.

The CPI in New Brunswick increased 2.4% in the 12 months to January, after rising 1.1% in December. Fresh fruit prices were up 20.7% year over year, a larger increase than at the national level, following a 9.0% gain the previous month. Meat prices were also up more in New Brunswick than at the national level, rising 8.4% in the 12 months to January.

The CPI in British Columbia was up 2.3% year over year in January, its largest gain since November 2011. This rise was mainly attributable to the fresh vegetables index, which was up 26.2% on a year-over-year basis in January, after increasing 16.9% the previous month. In addition, the purchase of passenger vehicles index was up more in the 12 months to January (+4.2%) than in December (+3.2%).

In Ontario, the CPI rose 2.0% in the 12 months to January, after increasing 1.7% in December. Changes to electricity credit programs and the removal of the debt retirement charge applied to consumers' electricity bills resulted in a 6.9% monthly increase in electricity prices. On a year-over-year basis, a decline in natural gas prices partly offset the increase in electricity prices. The taxi and other local and commuter transportation index was down 4.5% year over year in January, mostly because of a reduction in the base taxi fare in Toronto.

Among the provinces, consumer prices increased the least in Quebec, up 1.6% on a year-over-year basis in January. The passenger vehicle insurance premiums index was down 7.1% in the 12 months to January, because of a decrease in the insurance contribution collected on driver licence and vehicle registration fees. In contrast, the index for women's clothing increased more year over year in January (+6.1%) than in December (+4.4%).

Seasonally adjusted monthly Consumer Price Index increases

On a seasonally adjusted monthly basis, the CPI rose 0.2% in January, following a 0.1% increase in December.

In January, six of the eight major components increased on a seasonally adjusted monthly basis. The seasonally adjusted transportation index, and clothing and footwear index decreased.

On a seasonally adjusted monthly basis, the food index increased 0.6%, while the transportation index (-0.8%) posted the largest decline.

Bank of Canada's core index

The Bank of Canada's core index rose 2.0% in the 12 months to January, following a 1.9% increase in December.

The seasonally adjusted core index was up 0.2% on a monthly basis in January, matching the increase in December.

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