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StatCan updates CPI basket to increase food weighting in inflation calculation

Canadians spending more on groceries and dining out.
Sad piggybank for high cost of gas, electricity and power. Inflation is increasing everywhere, especially for gas and electricity bills. Saving and spending money due to power crisis.

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

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

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

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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