Skip to main content

The Globe and Mail

We’re paying more for bacon, but getting a break on coffee

Okay, so Canada's inflation rate shrunk to its post-recession low last month, and apparently we all have cheaper gasoline prices to thank.

(Although I find it hard to call $1.20-plus a litre cheap – I still remember filling up the old VW Bug with a $20 bill and getting back enough change to buy food for my pet dodo, but I digress.)

A break at the pump is always welcome – especially just ahead of a long weekend – but gasoline is but one component of the consumer price index.

Story continues below advertisement

And it's one so prone to monthly mood swings that it is pointedly excluded from Statistics Canada's "core" inflation reading, which is considered a more reliable picture of the country's underlying inflation trend. Not that we should ignore it, but it's just a small and notoriously unreliable part of the bigger picture.

On that note, let's give some press to prices last month for a selection of other CPI components that may get overlooked a bit in the monthly inflation discussion, but that matter to many consumers nevertheless. (Percentage changes, April vs. March)

Going up

  • Sirloin steak, up 1.5 per cent (a sign we’ve entered barbecue season, perhaps?)
  • Bacon, 1.3 per cent
  • Corn flakes, 4.3 per cent
  • Sugar, 4.7 per cent
  • Waters/fuel/electricity utilities, 1 per cent
  • Public transportation, 1.5 per cent

Going down

  • Coffee, down 1.8 per cent
  • Orange juice, 2 per cent
  • Butter, 1.6 per cent
  • Apples, 2.1 per cent
  • Food from restaurants, 0.8 per cent
  • Clothing, 1.7 per cent

Going sideways

  • Milk, unchanged
  • Eggs, down 0.3 per cent
  • Bread, down 0.3 per cent
  • Cigarettes, up 0.1 per cent
  • Alcoholic beverages, up 0.2 per cent
  • Rent, up 0.1 per cent
Report an error Licensing Options
About the Author
Economics Reporter

David Parkinson has been covering business and financial markets since 1990, and has been with The Globe and Mail since 2000. A Calgary native, he received a Southam Fellowship from the University of Toronto in 1999-2000, studying international political economics. More

Comments

The Globe invites you to share your views. Please stay on topic and be respectful to everyone. For more information on our commenting policies and how our community-based moderation works, please read our Community Guidelines and our Terms and Conditions.

We’ve made some technical updates to our commenting software. If you are experiencing any issues posting comments, simply log out and log back in.

Discussion loading… ✨