StatCan updates CPI basket to increase food weighting in inflation calculation

The Canadian Press
StatCan updates CPI basket to increase food weighting in inflation calculation

OTTAWA — Statistics Canada is updating the basket of goods it uses to measure inflation to increase the importance of food in the calculation as Canadians spend more on groceries and dining out.

The agency says the basket share for food increased the most among the major components in its annual review of the calculation.

Food now makes up 16.72 per cent of the basket of goods used to measure the inflation rate, up from 16.13 per cent a year earlier. Food from stores comprises 10.82 per cent of the basket, up from 10.62 per cent, while food from restaurants makes up 5.90 per cent, up from 5.51 per cent.

The basket share for the recreation, education and reading category, which includes traveller accommodation and travel tours, also rose to 10.42 per cent from 9.98 per cent. The shelter component’s share increased to 28.57 per cent from 28.22 per cent, boosted by higher mortgage interest costs and increased rent prices.

The household operations, furnishings and equipment component posted the largest reduction in basket share as it fell to 13.46 per cent from 14.57 per cent. The relative weight of alcoholic beverages, tobacco products and recreational cannabis was 4.17 per cent, down from 4.47 per cent.

Statistics Canada’s consumer price index, the most well-known measure of inflation in the country, is used in a wide range of ways including to adjust pension payments, income tax deductions and some government social programs.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published June 18, 2024.

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