The COVID-19 pandemic resulted in economic disruptions that continue to affect financial and labour markets across the globe. At the onset of the pandemic, prices shifted significantly as Canadians entered a sustained period of physical distancing and business closures.

As Canadians adapted to staying home and travelling less, demand for a number of consumer goods and services shifted, contributing to the first year-over-year decline in the Consumer Price Index (CPI) since 2009. In April and May of 2020, consumer prices were 0.2% and 0.4% lower, respectively, compared with the same months of 2019.

While prices for some commodities, such as energy products, have since recovered to pre-pandemic levels, the impact of COVID-19 and various measures to contain its spread continue to impact the CPI. At the same time, base-year effects from March and April 2020 are temporarily putting upward pressure on headline consumer inflation, which is measured as the percentage change between the CPI in the current month (April 2021) and the CPI in the base month, or, the same calendar month of the previous year (April 2020).

 Published By: Statistics Canada

Publication Date: May 19, 2021

Click Here to View: The Consumer Price Index and COVID-19: A One-Year Retrospective

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