Consumer Price Index Monthly

Consumer Price Index, August 2021

This monthly release of the The Consumer Price Index (CPI) for Canada, the provinces, Whitehorse and Yellowknife, provides a descriptive summary of retail price movements, inflation rates and the factors underlying them.

PEI and Canada Consumer Price Index

All-Items Consumer Price Index by Province

  CA NL PE NS NB QC ON MB SK AB BC
August 2021 142.6 145.8 147.0 144.5 143.0 138.7 144.1 143.2 144.9 151.0 137.0
July 2021 142.3 145.8 146.6 144.2 142.5 138.5 143.7 142.8 144.7 150.3 136.7
August 2020 137.0 139.1 138.3 137.5 136.6 132.9 138.6 137.2 140.8 144.2 132.4
Year Over year Change (%) 4.1 4.8 6.3 5.1 4.7 4.4 4.0 4.4 2.9 4.7 3.5
Monthly Change (%) 0.2 0.0 0.3 0.2 0.4 0.1 0.3 0.3 0.1 0.5 0.2

Summary

Statistics Canada reported that the year-over-year change in the All-Items Consumer Price Index for P.E.I. was 6.3 per cent in August 2021. The monthly increase was 0.3 per cent. This compares to 4.1 per cent year-over-year and 0.2 per cent monthly increases for Canada. Leading contributors to year-over-year price increases for P.E.I. were gasoline (37.2%), followed by fuel oil and other fuels (61.5%), homeowners' replacement cost (20.0%), purchase and leasing of passenger vehicles (7.2%), and rent (7.9%). These increases were partially offset by year-over-year declines for telephone services (-13.1%), mortgage interest cost*, women's clothing (-6.4%), recreational equipment and services excluding recreational vehicles (-2.3%), and preserved fruit and fruit preparations (-8.4%).

The monthly change for P.E.I. in August 2021 was 0.3 per cent. Higher prices for traveler accommodation (9.7%), inter-city transportation (27.5%), homeowners' replacement cost (1.5%), fuel oil and other fuels (2.2%), and fresh or frozen chicken (12.9%), were mostly offset by lower prices for travel tours*, children's clothing (-7.5%), preserved fruit and fruit preparations (-8.4%), telephone services (-2.0%), and household appliances (-1.9%).

Nationally, the All-Items Consumer Price Index rose 4.1 per cent on a year-over-year basis in July, up from a 3.7 per cent increase in July. This was the fastest year-over-year increase since March 2003. The increase in prices mainly stems from an accumulation of recent price pressures and from lower price levels in 2020. On a monthly basis, the CPI rose 0.2 per cent in August.

Year over year, prices rose at a faster pace in August than in July in every province ranging from 2.9 per cent in Saskatchewan to 6.3 per cent in Prince Edward Island. Compared to July, year over year prices rose faster August in four of the eight major components (food; household operations, furnishings and equipment; transportation; tobacco products and recreational cannabis). Year over year, prices for gasoline rose 32.5 per cent in August, mainly driven by lower production from oil-producing countries compared with pre-pandemic levels. Also contributing to the year-over-year increase were the low price levels observed in August 2020. The homeowners' replacement cost index, which is related to the price of new homes, continued to trend upward, rising 14.3 per cent year over year in August—the largest yearly increase since September 1987. This was the fourth consecutive month of double-digit price growth.

 

Impact of COVID-19 on the August CPI

 

Base-year effects and the CPI

In spring 2020, the global economy was dramatically affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, and Canadian consumers experienced a significant decline in prices from February to April 2020. Headline consumer inflation slowed from +2.2 per cent in February 2020 to 0.9 per cent in March and -0.2 per cent in April, the largest two-month slowdown in year-over-year CPI growth since 1992. As the economy began to recover in June 2020, prices began to recover as well. However, prices remained relatively flat in August 2020, creating an upward base-year effect, widening the gap between prices from August 2020 to August 2021, increasing the pace of inflation.

 

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 Statistics Canada research document entitled "The Consumer Price Index and COVID-19: A One-Year Retrospective". This publication explores the sources of pandemic-related price change and the ongoing impact of base-year effects on the headline CPI.

 

For more information regarding the August CPI for Canada and the Provinces, see the Statistics Canada CPI release for August 2021.

Related downloads for this release:

Monthly Consumer Price Index Report PDF (87KB)

* data not published at the provincial level

 

Visit the Consumer Price Index Portal to find all CPI data, publications, interactive tools, and announcements highlighting new products and upcoming changes to the CPI in one convenient location.

The CPI for September 2021 will be released on October 20, 2021.

Source: Statistics Canada.

Table 18-10-0004-01, Consumer Price Index, monthly, not seasonally adjusted

Published date: 
September 15, 2021
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