Consumer Price Index, March, 2014, published April 17, (2002=100)

Posted by on Apr 28, 2014 in Featured | 0 comments

The Consumer Price Index rose by 1.5% in March compared with March 2013,  following a 1.1% increase in February.   

The CPI for goods increased by 1.4% in the 12 months to March while the CPI for services  was up 1.7% over the same period.

Gasoline prices increased 1.4% from  March 2013, after declining 1.3% in February.  Overall, energy prices grew 4.6% between March 2013 and March 2014, following a 1.6% increase in February.  Excluding energy, the Consumer Price Index rose 1.3% in March, after growing by 0.4% in February.

Food prices rose 1.5% in the 12 months to March, up from the increase of 0.1% in February.  The cost of  food purchased from stores in the 12 months to March rose 1.7% after rising 1.0% in the previous month.  Prices for food purchased from restaurants advanced 1.0% on a year-over-year basis , after growing 1.1% in February.

Costs associated with shelter rose 2.7% in March over March 2013, after increasing 2.2% in February.  March’s annualized increase was the largest since December 2010.
Consumers paid more for electricity (+5.0%), natural gas (+17.9%) fuel oil (+9.1%) and property taxes.  The mortgage interest cost index declined 0.6% from March 2013.

Consumers paid 0.9% more for household operations, furnishings and equipment in March compared to March 2013, after an increase of 0.3% recorded in February.

Transportation prices gained 1.7% in the 12 months to March 2014, following a 0.4% increase in February.  In addition to gasoline, consumers paid 1.5% less for the purchase of passenger vehicles, after paying 0.3%  more in February.  Passenger vehicle insurance premiums also increased in March.

In the 12 months to March 2014, consumer prices rose in all ten provinces.  The CPI grew the most in Alberta over March 2013 (+3.9%) followed by Prince Edward Island  (+3.0%) and Saskatchewan (+2.8%).  The smallest gain in the CPI occurred in British Columbia (+0.1%).  The CPI in Ontario was up 1.5% and in Quebec it increased 0.9% over March 2013.  Compared with Canada as a whole, Ontario recorded a smaller year-over-year acceleration in gasoline prices.