Consumer Price Index, March, 2013, published April 19

Posted by on Apr 23, 2013 in Featured | 0 comments

The Consumer Price Index rose by 1.0% in March compared with March 2012 following a 1.2% increase in February   

Gasoline prices decreased 0.3% from March 2012, after growing 3.9% in February.  The slower rate of growth in the annualized CPI was due mainly to these lower gasoline prices.  Excluding gasoline, the CPI was up 1.1% over a year earlier, the same rate of annualized increase as in February.

Overall, energy prices grew 0.3% between March 2012 and March 2013, following a 2.0% increase in February.  Excluding energy, the Consumer Price Index rose 1.1% in March, after gaining 1.2% in February.

Food prices rose 1.8% in the 12 months to March, following a 1.9% increase in February.  Consumers paid 2.2% more for food purchased from restaurants.  They also paid more for food purchased from stores, as prices rose for fresh vegetables (+7.2%) and fresh fruits (+8.7%).  Prices for non-alcoholic beverages declined 3.6%.

Costs associated with shelter rose 1.1% in March over March 2012, up from the 0.8% gain posted in February.  Homeowners’ replacement cost and rent were major factors in the March’s rise in shelter costs.  Conversely, mortgage interest cost decreased 4.0% in March over a year earlier.

Consumers paid 1.8% more for household operations, furnishings and equipment in March compared to March 2012, after rising 1.3% in February.

Transportation prices were unchanged in the 12 months to March 2013, after an increase of 2.0% in February.  Prices for the purchase of passenger vehicles rose 0.8% from March 2012 after increasing 2.5% in February.

In the 12 months to March 2013, consumer prices rose in all provinces.  However, all provincial increases were less than 2.0%, with the exception of Manitoba (+2.3%).  After Manitoba, the CPI grew most in Newfoundland and Labrador (+1.6%) followed by Saskatchewan (+1.3%) and Alberta (+1.2%).  The lowest rate of increase was in British Columbia (+0.5%).  The CPI in Ontario increased 1.0% over March 2012 while Quebec’s annualized increase was 0.8%.