Friday, September 26, 2014

Consumer Price Index


I have a researcher here who is looking for detailed documentation on the commodities in the current CPI basket of goods. In particular, he would like to know what commodities are being used for the two following categories: Telephone Services (v41691070) and Internet Access Services (v41693216).

The researcher is trying understand a huge jump in the price index for those two components from July 2014 to August 2014. As there was no obvious market reason for this jump, he thinks it may have been caused by a change in either the composition of the basket or the weighting of these categories over this time frame. We checked the available documentation but could not find anything related.

Would you be able to check this with the division that oversees the CPI?


The Author Divison Explained that: "Our release on the August CPI said prices for telephone services rose 7.6 per cent, year-to-year. Yes, prices for telephone services went up the most year-over-year this past August since March 1983.

(CANSIM Table 326-0020,

The telephone services index is comprised of three components: local telephone services, long distance rates, and cellular services. The aggregate telephone services index is a weighted average of its three components, using weights provided by the Survey of Household Spending (SHS). Data on these sub-indexes is not disseminated. The internet access services index rose 11.3% year over year in August. This is the highest year-over-year rate of change in the time series. The internet access services index posted a 3.5% month-to-month increase in August 2014, which was the highest monthly increase since November 2013 when it increased 4.8%. The internet access services index has been published since December 2002. The spreadsheet containing historical data for this index is attached (extracted from CANSIM Table 326-0020)."