May 29, 2023: CPI relatively unchanged; year-over-year Lumber and Other Wood Product prices continue to fall.

May 29, 2023

Headline inflation in Ontario fell from 4.3% to 4.2%, while inflation excluding food and energy was the same as the prior month. With regards to industrial product and raw material prices, cement prices continued to rise, whereas energy and petroleum product and lumber and wood product prices once again fell on a year-over-year basis.

Ontario Consumer Price Index
In Ontario, consumer price index inflation was relatively unchanged, as the year-over-year inflation fell from 4.3% in March to 4.2% in April. Despite the stalling, this still far lower than the almost 8% inflation from June 2022, and the lowest reading since August 2021 (4%). Energy prices fell 5.5% year-over-year, which was similar to last month’s drop of 5.4%. Excluding food and energy, inflation was still 4.3%, identical to last month’s reading (still well below the peak of 5.5% in July 2022).

Note: Inflation excluding food and energy, or “core” inflation is often of interest since food and energy prices tend to be volatile and may not represent average underlying prices trends.

Industrial Product and Raw Material Price Index

Decreasing Prices
Turning to the industrial product and raw material price index (Canada-wide), Energy and Petroleum Product prices declined -20.5% compared to April 2022. Prices for Lumber and Other Wood Products fell even more significantly at 36.5%, after already decreasing 39.5% in March; this is the 6th consecutive year-over-year drop in lumber and wood product prices. Fabricated Metal and Construction Materials prices also contracted slightly at 2.3%, after contracting 1.4% year-over-year in March.

Slower Prices

Packaging Materials and Containers prices slowed; 4.7% increase in April, down from the 6% increase in March. Plastic and Rubber products also decreased to 6.7% year-over-year growth compared to the 7.7% increase from March.

Elevated Prices
Cement, Glass, and other Non-Metallic Mineral Product prices remain elevated compared to early 2021, with a 13.6% increase compared to April 2022. This is the largest increase prices in this category since at least 2018. Cement prices have been gradually increasing as pandemic restrictions eased over the last couple of years.

Note: some of the numbers reported in the last price index bulletin have changed due to revisions by Statistics Canada.



Ali Ahmad
Research Analyst

Ontario Construction Secretariat (OCS)
180 Attwell Drive, Suite 360, Toronto, ON M9W 6A9
P 416.620.5210 ext. 222