Consumer Price Index, March, 2016, published April 22, (2002=100)

Posted by on Apr 28, 2016 in Featured | Comments Off on Consumer Price Index, March, 2016, published April 22, (2002=100)

The Consumer Price Index rose by 1.3% in March compared with March 2015, after an annualized increase of 1.4% in February.     

The CPI in March for goods was up 0.7% from a year earlier while the CPI for services rose 1.8%.

Gasoline prices in March were down 13.6% from  March 2015, after dropping 13.1% in February.  Overall, energy prices declined 7.8% between March 2014 and March 2015, following a 7.2%  annualized rate of decrease in February.  Excluding energy, the annualized Consumer Price Index rose 2.0% in March, down from 2.1% in February.

Food prices rose 3.6%  in the 12 months to March, after the 3.9% rate of annualized increase posted in February.  The cost of  food purchased from stores in the 12 months to March grew by 4.0%, down from a 4.4% increase in February.  Prices for fresh vegetables and fresh fruit contributed the most to the gain.  The price of meat grew year-over-year by 3.2% in March.  This was the largest gain in the meat index since November 2015.   Prices for food purchased from restaurants advanced 2.6% on a year-over-year basis, following a 2.7% increase in February.

Costs associated with shelter rose 1.1% in March over March 2015, unchanged from  February’s annualized gain.

Consumers paid 1.7% more for household operations, furnishings and equipment in March compared to March 2015, down from the 1.8% year-over-year increase recorded in February.

Transportation prices decreased 1.0% in the 12 months to March 2016, following a 0.5% decline in February.  Lower year-over-year gasoline prices partly contributed to the decrease.   The purchase of passenger vehicles index was up 3.2% year-over-year in March, after an annualized gain in February of 5.0%.

In the 12 months to March 2016, consumer prices rose in all ten provinces.  The CPI grew the most in British Columbia  (+1.7%), followed by Ontario and Alberta, both at (+1.5%).  The  lowest annualized increase occurred in Quebec (+0.7%).