Consumer Price Index Monthly
Consumer Price Index, April 2020
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
|Year Over year Change (%)||-0.2||-1.5||-1.3||-0.6||-1.3||0.2||-0.1||-0.6||-1.4||-0.5||0.0|
|Monthly Change (%)||-0.7||-1.1||-1.1||-1.0||-1.5||-0.6||-0.4||-0.8||-0.9||-0.8||-0.8|
Statistics Canada reported that the year-over-year change in the All-Items Consumer Price Index for P.E.I. was -1.3 per cent in April 2020. This compares to a decline of 0.2 per cent for Canada. Year-over-year price increases for P.E.I. were led by purchase and leasing of passenger vehicles (2.1%), followed by rent (4.0%), dairy products (8.7%), property taxes and other special charges (4.9%), and processed meat (12.3%). These increases were offset by year-over-year declines for gasoline (-41.4%), fuel oil and other fuels (-33.3%), telephone services (-5.0%), purchase and operation of recreational vehicles (-11.5%), and electricity (-3.4%). The decline in gasoline prices was the largest year-over-year decline on record (since September 1979) for gasoline prices on Prince Edward Island.
The monthly change for P.E.I. in April 2020 was -1.1 per cent. Lower prices for gasoline ( 18.4%), fuel oil and other fuels (-15.5%), women's clothing (-6.6%), electricity (-3.4%), and men's clothing (-8.4%) were partially offset by higher prices for dairy products (6.9%), other food preparations*, food purchased from restaurants (2.6%), paper, plastic and aluminum foil supplies (9.1%), and inter-city transportation (3.2%).
Nationally, the All-Items Consumer Price Index fell 0.2 per cent on a year-over-year basis in April, down from a 0.9 per cent gain in March. This was the first year-over-year decline in the CPI since September 2009. The CPI declined as energy prices fell as a result of the COVID-19 shutdown of travel and trade exacerbating an existing global oversupply of oil. Excluding energy, the CPI rose 1.6 per cent. Gasoline prices fell 39.3 per cent on a year-over-year basis in April, the largest year-over-year decline on record.
Impact of COVID-19 on the April CPI
Lower energy prices were the major contributor to the year-over-year decline in the all-items CPI. Demand for oil declined sharply globally as travel restrictions and temporary business closures were put in place. Lower international trade and oversupply in the oil market also contributed to lower gas prices. Prices for traveler accommodations also declined as a result of the travel restrictions.
Clothing and footwear prices declined as in person shopping for non-essential goods was suspended across the country, leaving most retailers with high inventories. Many offered large discounts to online prices in an effort to reduce seasonal inventories.
Food prices saw an increase in April. Consumers were encouraged to reduce trips to the grocery stores, which resulted in increased demand for dry and preserved goods and other non-perishable food products. A slow down in cross-border shipping and reduced production at meat processing plants contributed to high meat prices. Some Canadian meat processing plants have closed to protect workers during the pandemic.
Higher demand for paper and cleaning products resulted in higher prices for household supply products.
During the month of April, measures were in place across the country to restrict the movement of people and for the temporary closure of some businesses. Statistics Canada implemented alternate methods of data collection including via telephone or Internet, supplementing prices collected via web scraping, transaction data and administrative data. Due to the impact of COVID-19 on product availability in the month of April 2020, select sub-components of the CPI received temporary special imputations.
For more information, see the Statistics Canada release at:
*data not published at the provincial level.
Related downloads for this release:
Monthly Consumer Price Index Report PDF (87KB)
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 May 2020 will be released on June 17, 2020.
Source: Statistics Canada. Table 18-10-0004-01, Consumer Price Index, monthly, not seasonally adjusted