Consumer Price Index (CPI)

Summary of changes

Activity on this program started: January 1, 1914

Reference period of change - June 2018

The geographic strata "Whitehorse, Yukon" and "Yellowknife, Northwest Territories" have been introduced in the annual table entitled: Inter-city indexes of price differentials of consumer goods and services, as of reference year 2017, reflecting data for the all-items index and its eight major components and selected sub-groups.

Reference period of change - March 2018

The release of the March 2018 CPI (published on April 20, 2018) marks the implementation of new data sources and methodological changes for the calculation of the air transportation index.

The air transportation index represents 1.24% of the 2015 CPI basket and is part of Transportation, one of the major CPI components.

The International Travel Survey, the Travel Survey of Residents of Canada and the Fare Basis Survey were used to select city-pairs representative of travel destinations of Canadian households.

In addition, new travel destinations were introduced to the city-pair sample, expanding the coverage of the air transportation index across domestic and international travel destinations.

The new approach replaces administrative data with airfares prices collected on the internet.

Reference period of change - October 2017

The release of the October 2017 CPI (published on November 17, 2017) marks the implementation of new data sources and methodological changes for the calculation of the mortgage interest cost index (MICI).

The MICI represents 3.41% of the 2015 CPI basket and is part of Shelter, one of the major CPI components.

This new approach uses administrative data to replace survey data, which reduces survey response burden while better reflecting the Canadian residential mortgage market and allowing for a simplified estimation process.

Detailed documentation describing the new MICI approach is available in the publication Prices Analytical Series (62F0014M).

Additionally, the geographic stratum "Calgary, Alberta" has been introduced in the annual table entitled: Inter-city indexes of price differentials of consumer goods and services, as of reference year 2016, reflecting data for the all-items index and its eight major components and selected sub-groups.

Reference period of change - August 2017

The release of the August 2017 CPI (published on September 22, 2017) marks the implementation of a new gasoline index methodology.

The gasoline component represents 3.37% of the 2015 CPI basket at link month (December 2016) prices and is part of the transportation index, which is one of the major CPI components.

The gasoline index methodology changes consist of two main elements: collection of prices in more cities, and over more days of the month (every business day); and, a new aggregation formula.

The indexes for each geographic stratum use an explicitly weighted Jevons index formula. The population count for each city, drawn from the census, is the source for weighting.

Reference period of change - January 2017

On February 24, 2017, with the release of the January 2017 Consumer Price Index (CPI), Statistics Canada updated the expenditure weights for the basket of goods and services used in the calculation of the index. The new weighting pattern is based on the 2015 Survey of Household Spending (SHS). It replaces the previous weights, which were based on the 2013 SHS.

The base year, for which the CPI equals 100, remains 2002.

The 2015 basket classification system was updated to add new, relevant goods and services, while removing some that are obsolete.

New elementary aggregates for purchase of luxury passenger vehicles were added to the basic aggregate purchase of passenger vehicles. Rental of digital media and Other home entertainment equipment, parts and services will no longer be published. In addition, obsolete consumer electronic products such as VCRs and cathode ray tube televisions have been removed from the classification.

Reference period of change - November 2016

At the request of the Bank of Canada, Statistics Canada produces and publishes the Bank's three preferred measures of core inflation: CPI-trim (trimmed mean), CPI-median (weighted median), and CPI-common (common component). As of the November 2016 Consumer Price Index (CPI), the series "All-items excluding eight of the most volatile components (Bank of Canada definition)" has changed to "Consumer Price Index (CPI), all-items excluding eight of the most volatile components as defined by the Bank of Canada (2002=100)", while the series "Bank of Canada's core index" has changed to "Consumer Price Index (CPI), all-items excluding eight of the most volatile components as defined by the Bank of Canada and excluding the effect of changes in indirect taxes (2002=100)".

Reference period of change - February 2015

With the release of the February 2015 Consumer Price Index (CPI), a new weighting pattern replaces the current 2011 weights and is based on 2013 consumer expenditures.

Reference period of change - September 2013

The Travel Tours Index, part of the CPI, was updated with the September 2013 CPI release on October 18, 2013. The Travel Tours component accounts for 0.80% of the 2011 CPI basket by weight and belongs to the Recreation, education and reading index, which is a major component of the CPI.

Prior to this methodology review, the most popular holiday packages were priced according to travel agents' records in three months of the year, from January to March. The index in other months carried forward the March value and did not change as no pricing was done in those months. The methodology review determined that a significant number of the most popular holiday packages change between March (which ends one collection period) and January (which begins the next collection period) for a given destination. This required a high rate of replacement of holiday packages in the pricing sample. Moreover, based on recent International Travel Survey results, it was clear that the nature of and level of expenditure on Canadians' leisure trips abroad change significantly from season to season throughout the year.

The aims of this methodology review of the Travel Tours index were a reduction in the replacement rate during data collection and a more accurate reflection of the habits of consumers regarding the timing and nature of their holiday package trip purchases.

Reference period of change - April 2013

The Passenger Vehicle Parts, Maintenance and Repairs Index, part of the CPI, has been updated with the April CPI release on May 17, 2013. The Passenger Vehicle Parts, Maintenance and Repairs Index component accounts for 1.8% of the 2011 CPI basket and belongs to the Transportation Index, a major component of the CPI.

Reference period of change - February 2013

With the release of the February 2013 Consumer Price Index (CPI), a new weighting pattern replaces the current 2009 weights and is based on 2011 consumer expenditures. This marked the first time in the Canadian CPI history that weights were updated at a two-year interval

Reference period of change - November 2012

The Purchase of Passenger Vehicles Index (PPVI), part of the Transportation major component of the CPI, has been updated with the November CPI release on December 21, 2012.

Reference period of change - September 2012

The methodology of the Prescribed Medicines Index (PMI), part of the Canadian Consumer Price Index (CPI), has been updated with the September 2012 CPI release on October 19, 2012.

For further information, please refer to the document "Revision of the Prescribed Medicines Index of the Consumer Price Index (CPI), beginning with the September 2012 CPI", available through the Methodology Changes and Basket Updates link in the documentation section of the September 2012 reference period.

Reference period of change - February 2012

The 2009 weighting pattern was replaced with one from 2011. This marked the first time in the Canadian CPI history that weights were updated at a two-year interval.

Reference period of change - May 2011

With the release of the May 2011 Consumer Price Index (CPI), a new weighting pattern replaces the current 2005 weights and is based on 2009 consumer expenditures.

Also, to allow for the representation of emerging technologies and services in the market place, several changes have been made to the expenditure classes that make up the CPI basket. For more information, please refer to the document "Changes to the Consumer Price Index beginning with the May 2011 CPI" in the Documentation section located at the end of the 'Detailed information' page.

Reference period of change - January 2009

Revisions and seasonal adjustment - As of the January 2009 reference period, seasonally adjusted series are calculated using X-12-ARIMA.

Reference period of change - February 2008

Beginning with the CPI of February 2008, the methodology of the Home Insurance Component was revised.

For more information, refer to the document "A Revision of the Methodology of the Home Insurance Component of the Consumer Price Index beginning with the February 2008 CPI", in the Documentation section located at the end of the 'Detailed information' page.

Reference period of change - May 2007

The basket of goods and services used to calculate the CPI has been updated to reflect changes in consumer expenditure patterns. Expenditure patterns for 2005 replaced those in 2001. The CPI base year (the period for which the value 100 is assigned to the index) will change from 1992 to 2002.

For more information, refer to the document Changes to the Consumer Price Index beginning with the May 2007 CPI in the Documentation section located at the end of the 'Detailed information' page.

Statistics Canada will also publish the average retail price of regular unleaded gasoline at self-service stations for Canada.

Reference period of change - October 2006

Statistics Canada now produces and disseminates the Core Consumer Price Index as defined by the Bank of Canada. This index is used by the Bank to guide monetary policy.

Although Statistics Canada will henceforth announce and publish the Core CPI, the underlying methodology for the index was established by the Bank of Canada and remains the latter's responsibility.

The measure of the Core CPI excludes from the All-items CPI the effect of the changes in indirect taxes and eight of the most volatile components identified by the Bank of Canada: fruit, fruit preparations and nuts; vegetables and vegetable preparations; mortgage interest cost; natural gas; fuel oil and other fuel; gasoline; inter-city transportation; and tobacco products and smokers' supplies.

Reference period of change - July 2004

Statistics Canada determined that the weights assigned to mortgage interest cost were too high in the CPI basket update effective January 2003. The effect on the Canada All-items CPI was very small, within the rounding factor of the index.

Effective with the July 2004 release, the weight for mortgage interest cost was reduced and as a result, the weights of all other commodities increased proportionally. To see the adjusted CPI basket weights, return to the 'Detailed information' page and click on the related link in the Documentation section.

Reference period of change - October 2003

Beginning with the CPI from October 2003, rebates are no longer reflected in the CPI if they are paid on the basis of past consumption and were not known to consumers at the time of consumption. Such retroactive rebates are treated as windfalls to income rather than as price changes. This treatment of rebates makes the indexes for utilities less volatile.

Before the October 2003 reference period, rebates were reflected in the CPI at the time when rebates were paid. If a rebate was greater than the average monthly charge, the remainder of the rebate was reflected in the following month until the rebate had been fully accounted for.

Reference period of change - January 2003

The basket of goods and services used to calculate the CPI has been updated to reflect changes in consumer expenditure patterns. Expenditure patterns for 2001 replaced those in 1996.

The All-items series is no longer calculated as a weighted average of the seasonally adjusted eight major component indexes. Henceforth, the official unadjusted series for All-items, each of the eight major component indexes and three special aggregates (All-items excluding food, All-items excluding food and energy, and All-items excluding the eight most volatile components according to the Bank of Canada definition) are seasonally adjusted independently.

Some modifications were made to the commodity classification system.

For detailed information, refer to the document 'Changes to the Consumer Price Index Beginning with the January 2003 CPI' in the Documentation section located at the end of the 'Detailed information' page.

Reference period of change - May 2001

Estimation - As of May 2001, Statistics Canada is calculating, on behalf of the Bank of Canada, an index series for All-items excluding the eight most volatile components. Those eight components, as defined by the Bank, are: fruit, fruit preparations and nuts; vegetables and vegetable preparations; mortgage interest cost; natural gas; fuel oil and other fuel; gasoline; inter-city transportation; and tobacco products and smokers' supplies.

Reference period of change - October 2000

In recent years, the CPI weights have been based on family expenditures for 1974, 1978, 1982 and 1986. The set of weights referring to household expenditures for 1992, were introduced into the CPI in January 1995; and the one for 1996 in January 1998.

Date modified: