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For additional information relating to this article, please contact:

Thomas StorringDirector – Economics and Statistics
Tel: 902-424-2410Email: thomas.storring@novascotia.ca

September 18, 2019
ANALYSIS OF NOVA SCOTIA'S CONSUMER PRICE INDEX FOR AUGUST 2019

TRENDS - AUGUST 2019

In Nova Scotia August 2019, year over year growth for the All-Items Consumer Price Index was 1.6 per cent, below the national average of 1.9 per cent. Monthly consumer prices were down 0.1 per cent in Nova Scotia and nationally.

Within Atlantic Canada, New Brunswick had the highest year over year consumer price inflation (+2.0 per cent), followed by Nova Scotia. Inflation was lower in Newfoundland and Labrador (+0.7 per cent) and Prince Edward Island (+0.9 per cent).

The national CPI increase of 1.9 per cent on a year-over-year basis in August lower than the July result of 2.0 per cent. Falling gasoline prices were the main contributor to lower year-over-year inflation. Global oil prices fell slightly in August on higher production and soft international demand, remaining below 2018 levels. The CPI excluding energy rose 2.4 per cent year over year.

Year over year inflation was higher than last month for Manitoba and New Brunswick, and unchanged or lower among the remaining provinces. The highest inflation rates for August 2019 were in Manitoba (+2.3 per cent) and Quebec (+2.2 per cent). 

Nova Scotia's consumer price inflation (year over year growth in CPI) excluding food and energy rose 2.1 per cent in August, lower than the national rate of 2.2 per cent. Price level gains for this index were largest in Manitoba and Quebec (both +2.7 per cent), and lowest in Prince Edward Island and Newfoundland and Labrador (both +1.3 per cent). On a monthly basis, Nova Scotia's index excluding food and energy was up 0.2 per cent.

The main contributors to the monthly (August 2019 vs. July 2019) NS CPI movement:

  • Women's clothing (+3.6 per cent)
  • Inter-city transportation (+3.1 per cent)
  • Gasoline (-4.7 per cent)
  • Fresh vegetables (-6.7 per cent)

The main contributors to the annual (August 2019 vs. August 2018) NS CPI movement:

  • Passenger vehicle insurance premium (+14.1 per cent)
  • Purchase and leasing of passenger vehicles (+3.2 per cent)
  • Gasoline (-7.8 per cent)
  • Traveller accommodation (-10.9 per cent)

The CPI for food in Nova Scotia increased 3.3 per cent year-over-year with a 0.1 per cent increase month-to-month. CPI growth in food (year over year) was up in all provinces this month. Prince Edward Island showed the highest year over year food price growth (+4.1 per cent). Nationally, annual food prices increased 3.6 per cent.

The Nova Scotia energy price index decreased by 3.7 per cent compared to a year ago. Monthly energy prices (August 2019 vs. July 2019) were down 2.4 per cent in Nova Scotia and 2.5 per cent nationally. Year-over-year energy price indexes in every province, with the largest decline in Alberta (-10.6 per cent).

Year over year, the consumer price index for shelter increased by 1.7 per cent in Nova Scotia and 2.4 per cent in Canada. Shelter costs were up in every province except Newfoundland and Labrador and Prince Edward Island where they declined year over year.

Major Components for August 2019

The following table shows the price increases specific to Nova Scotia for the major components of the CPI this month:

Long Run Trends

The All-Items CPI year over year inflation rate for Nova Scotia was below Canada's in August 2019.  Nova Scotia's annual inflation has remained below the Canadian average since mid-2014, with the exception of only a few months. While month to month movements in the indices can be different, over time they generally follow the same overall trend.

Annual inflation for the CPI excluding food and energy in Nova Scotia (2.1 per cent) was lower than the national rate (2.2 per cent) in August.

Bank of Canada's preferred measures of core inflation

Compared with August 2018, CPI-Common increased 1.8 per cent, CPI-Median rose 2.1 per cent and CPI-Trim was up 2.1 per cent in Canada.  All-items CPI excluding eight of the most volatile components as defined by the Bank of Canada, and excluding the effect of changes in indirect taxes (formerly referred to as CPIX), rose 1.9 per cent year over year.

Appendix Tables and Charts

 

A NOTE ON CONSUMER PRICE INDEX

On February 27, 2019, with the release of the January 2019 CPI, the basket of goods and services used in the calculation of the CPI was updated using 2017 weights. The base year, in which the CPI is set to equal 100, remains 2002.

The 2017 basket classification system was updated to add new, relevant goods and services, while removing some that are obsolete. Some minor changes will be made to published index titles in order to clarify the definition of some series.

The alcoholic beverages and tobacco products major component has been updated to include recreational cannabis. Additionally, medicinal cannabis has been added under medicinal and pharmaceutical products.

There is also a change to the calculation of the rent index. Month over month changes to the rent index will not be impacted as the previous month has been linked to the current month. However, year over year change calculations should be interpreted with caution, particularly in the year following this implemented change.

Source: Statistics Canada data portal: Tables 18-10-0004-01 and 18-10-0256-01



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