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Consumer Price Index
The Consumer Price Index (CPI) is an indicator of changes in consumer prices experienced by Canadians. It is obtained by comparing, over time, the cost of a fixed basket of goods and services purchased by consumers. Since the basket contains goods and services of unchanging or equivalent quantity and quality, the index reflects only pure price change.

The CPI is widely used as an indicator of the change in the general level of consumer prices or the rate of inflation. Since the purchasing power of money is affected by changes in prices, the CPI is useful to virtually all Canadians. Consumers can compare movements in the CPI to changes in their personal income to monitor and evaluate changes in their financial situation.
For the latest information and historical data, please contact the individual listed below:

Thomas Storring
Director of Economics/Statistics

To view previous releases, select one from the dropdown box:

Currently displaying information released on: September, 2023


Year-over-year (August 2023 vs August 2022)

The inflation rate slowed to 5.9% in the European Union and to 5.2% in the Euro Area in August 2023.

The fastest inflation was reported in Hungary (+14.2%) while the slowest inflation rate was in Denmark (+2.3%), Belgium and Spain (both +2.4%).

Energy inflation declined 2.0% in the European Union and declined 3.3% in the Euro Area in August 2023, though energy prices rose from July 2023.

Food price inflation is slowing but remains elevated at 10.6% for the European Union and 10.3% for the Euro Area. 

Excluding the impacts of energy, food, alcohol and tobacco prices year-over-year inflation was slowed to 5.9% in the European Union and 5.3% in the Euro Area in August 2023.


Source: Eurostat


YEAR-OVER-YEAR (August 2023 vs August 2022)

All items: Consumer prices in Nova Scotia increased 4.7%. The national average inflation was 4.0%. In Halifax consumer prices increased 4.7%.

All items excluding food and energy: Nova Scotia consumer prices outside of food and energy increased 4.0%. This was higher than the national average increase of 3.6%.

MONTH-OVER-MONTH (August 2023 vs July 2023)

All items: Consumer prices in Nova Scotia were up 0.6%. Nationally, consumer prices were 0.4% higher from the previous month. In Halifax consumer prices increased 0.6%.

All items excluding food and energy: Nova Scotia consumer prices excluding food and energy increased 0.2% month over month in August 2023. Nationally, consumer prices outside of food and energy were 0.2% higher from the previous month.

Source: Statistics Canada.  Table  18-10-0004-01   Consumer Price Index, monthly, not seasonally adjusted


Nova Scotia’s all items Consumer Price Index (CPI) increased 4.7% year-over-year in August 2023. Nova Scotia's inflation had been slowing after peaking at 9.3% in June 2022 but spiked in July 2023 due to base year effects in gasoline prices, as a large monthly drop in July 2022 is no longer included in the 12-month calculations. August continued period of rerising inflation.

Nationally, consumer prices increased 4.0% year-over-year in August 2023, following a 3.3% increase in July. Inflation was highest in Nova Scotia and Quebec. Manitoba reported the slowest inflation.

The most significant upward contributors (combining price increase as well as share of the consumption basket) to Nova Scotia's 4.7% year-over-year inflation were: rent, mortgage interest costs, gasoline, food purchased from restaurants, and purchase/leasing of passenger vehicles. These were offset by downward year-over-year contributions from: telephone services, internet access services, furniture, fuel oil and other fuels, and child care and housekeeping services.

On a monthly basis, Nova Scotia's all items CPI was up 0.6% from July to August 2023.  National prices were up 0.4% with increases in all provinces.  Newfoundland and Labrador reported the highest percentage gain while Manitoba posted the lowest monthly gain.

Nova Scotia's monthly inflation was influenced by upward contributions from: gasoline, fuel oil, clothing accessories/watches/jewellery, mortgage interest costs, and traveller accommodations. These upward contributors to Nova Scotia's monthly CPI were offset by some notable downward contributors: travel tours, inter-city transportation, dairy products, pork, and fresh fruit.

Energy prices play a significant role in inflation rates. Nova Scotia's energy prices were up 5.7% from August 2022 to August 2023.  Year-over-year energy prices were up 1.8% nationally with increases in seven provinces. Alberta reported the largest increased and Manitoba reported the largest decline.

On a monthly basis, Nova Scotia's energy prices increased 5.2% from July to August 2023.  National energy prices were up 3.7% with gains in all provinces. Prince Edward Island reported the largest monthly increase in energy prices while Manitoba posted the smallest monthly increase.



Because fuel oil for home heating is a larger component of Nova Scotia's consumption basket than in other provinces, Nova Scotia's energy prices (and overall inflation) are more sensitive to fluctuations in the global price of crude oil.  Nova Scotia's energy prices accelerated dramatically after Russia's invasion of Ukraine in March 2022.  Nova Scotia energy prices peaked in June 2022 and have since been trending down, though there was a substantial increase in October and November 2022.  Energy prices in Nova Scotia rose in July 2023 with the introduction of federal carbon levy. Nova Scotia year-over-year energy inflation, particularly gasoline and fuel oil, continued to be impacted by the federal carbon levy in August 2023.

Nova Scotia's year-over-year energy prices (+5.7%) were up following six months of decline.

Food price inflation was 7.2% in Nova Scotia (August 2023 vs August 2022).  National food prices increased 6.8% in August, down from the 7.8% gain reported in July. Food prices were up in all provinces; Quebec reported the highest food price inflation while Alberta reported the least food price growth (though it was still 6.2%).  

On a monthly basis, Nova Scotia's food prices were down 0.6% from July to August. National growth in food prices was down 0.1% with declines in all provinces except Saskatchewan and British Columbia.

Food and energy prices are heavily influenced by volatile global commodity markets. Nova Scotia's underlying inflation rate excluding food and energy was 4.0% from August 2022 to August 2023. This was the second fastest among provinces (after Quebec). Nationally, inflation excluding food and energy was 3.6%.  Prince Edward Island, New Brunswick and Alberta (all +2.9%) reported the slowest growth in inflation excluding food and energy prices.

On a monthly basis, Nova Scotia's inflation for all items excluding food and energy was 0.2% from July to August 2023.  Prices for all items excluding food and energy were up 0.2% with largest increase in Quebec. Alberta reported the only monthly decline.

Shelter cost inflation increased to 6.2% in Nova Scotia from August 2022 to August 2023, accelerating from 4.0% year-over-year increases reported in July. National shelter prices were up 6.0% with gains in all provinces. Alberta reported the largest year-over-year increase in shelter prices while Prince Edward Island reported the smallest.

Monthly shelter costs were up 1.2% in Nova Scotia from July to August 2023.  Nationally, shelter costs were up 0.8% with gains in all provinces.   


Among detailed food products with available data, Nova Scotia's year-over-year inflation was fastest for sugar and confectionery while many food products reported year-over-year inflation in excess of 5% in August. Lower prices were in eggs, fish/seafood, and pork compared to August 2022.   

In detailed shelter cost components, home and mortgage insurance reported the fastest year-over-year price increases, followed by rent. Fuel oil and homeowners' replacement costs reported declines. 

Household operations/furnishings costs were down 0.8% overall.  Prices were down for all components except utensils/tableware/cookware, paper/plastic/aluminum products, and cleaning products. The largest decline was in internet access.

Overall transportations costs were up 4.2% year-over-year in August with higher prices for gasoline and taxi/local transportation. Inter-city transportation had the largest decline.

Health and personal care costs were up 7.3% year-over-year on gains in all sub-components led by personal care supplies.

Clothing and footwear prices were up 2.2% year-over-year with gains in women's clothing and clothing materials and services. Footwear posted a year-over-year decline in August.

Nova Scotia's overall prices for recreation, education and reading were up 4.9% from August 2022 to August 2023 with faster increases for recreational vehicles and other culture/recreation. Prices declined in travel services/accommodations and home entertainment equipment/services from the previous year.

Nova Scotia's prices for alcohol, tobacco and recreational cannabis were up 5.6% year-over-year with the fastest growth in the price for cigarettes.


Since the start of the Bank of Canada's inflation-targeting monetary policy regime, inflation for all items has generally been in the 0-4% range.  Period of above target inflation are typically followed by periods of slow price growth or even negative price changes. The most recent acceleration in inflation was the strongest since the inflation-targeting era began.   

Many of these periods of accelerated and slowed inflation are attributable to volatile commodity prices, especially energy prices.  Once the more volatile commodity prices are excluded, inflation in Nova Scotia has largely been below 2% for much of the last 20 years.  However, the recent rise in inflation in 2021-2023 spread beyond commodity prices and has been longest period of CPI excluding food and energy above 3%.

The Bank of Canada examines 'core' measures of inflation that are intended to remove the effects of volatile components and capture underlying inflation trends that are more connected to capacity in the Canadian economy.  Core measures of inflation may also indicate where all items inflation is headed. 

Canada's core measures of inflation remained mostly at or below the Bank's target of 2% for over a decade prior to 2021.  However, after prices accelerated in 2022, core inflation measures also started to rise, peaking at over 6% for the CPI-common measure before declining for a period. For August 2023, the year-over-year core inflatoin measures were up for CPI-median (4.1%) and CPI-trim (4.0%) and unchanged for CPI-common (4.8%).



Source: Statistics Canada. Table 18-10-0004-01  Consumer Price Index, monthly, not seasonally adjustedTable 18-10-0256-01  Consumer Price Index (CPI) statistics, measures of core inflation and other related statistics - Bank of Canada definitions


The United States Consumer Price Index (not seasonally adjusted) for All Urban Consumers increased 3.7% year-over-year in August 2023. This was up from the 3.2% increase reported in July 2023. Compared to August 2022, prices were higher in food (+4.3%), shelter (+7.3%) and lower in energy (-3.6%). The CPI excluding food and energy rose 4.3%, continuing its trend of slowing.

The month-over-month (seasonally adjusted) change in the CPI was 0.6% in August 2023, rising from the 0.2% pace from previous month. Over the past month, the largest contributor was gasoline which accounted for over half the increase. The index for shelter rose for the 40th consecutive month and food index was up 0.2% compared to the previous month. The CPI excluding food and energy index was up 0.3% for the month, rising from the 0.2% last month.




Canada and Nova Scotia August 2023 CPI figures will be released on September 19, 2023.


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

US Bureau of Labor Statistics, retrieved from FRED, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis