August 23, 2023: Headline inflation in Ontario back above 3%; year-over year lumber and energy prices continue to decrease

August 23, 2023

Headline inflation in Ontario increased from 2.6% in June to 3.2% in July. Inflation excluding food and energy also increased, but by a smaller amount, as it climbed up from 3.2% to 3.5%. Prices for Cement, glass, and non-metallic mineral products increased at 11.5% year-over-year, slightly lower than the price inflation in June. Energy and petroleum products and Lumber and other wood products continue to experience year-over-year prices decreases in the double digits, however at a slower rate compared to before. Fabricated metal and construction materials price index fell slightly, the 5th drop in a row for this product category.

Ontario year-over-year headline inflation increased from 2.6% in June to 3.2% in July. Part of this increase was due to higher food price inflation, and part of it was due to higher goods inflation, which increased from 1.2% to 2.3%. Services inflation also increased, from 3.8% to 4.0%. Energy price inflation however, fell for the 5th consecutive month, down 8.3% year-over-year. This was slower than the 14.4% decrease seen in June. Core inflation increased slightly, from 3.2% to 3.5%, owing partly to the aforementioned higher goods inflation. Despite the increase from last month, inflation is still well below its peak from last year (see chart below).

Decreasing Prices

Energy and petroleum product prices declined -22.2% year-over-year, making this the 5th consecutive decrease in this category. However, this decrease was at a slower rate compared to the 33.3% decrease from June. Lumber and other wood products prices decreased 14.8% year-over-year, making this the 9th consecutive drop. This was a smaller decrease than the 19.6% decline seen in May. In general, the rate of decrease has been slowing in year-over-year lumber product prices over the last several months. Fabricated metal and construction materials prices declined by 2.1% from July 2022. Although a small decrease, this is the 5th consecutive drop in the index; -4.1% in June, -1.6% in May, -2.1% in April, and -1.5% in March.

Slowing Prices 

Packaging materials and containers annual price inflation slowed once again, from 3.7% in June, down to 3.1% in July.  Inflation in this category has been easing since February and is the lowest since Jan 2021 (2.3%). Plastic and rubber product inflation was 4.5%, less than June’s increase of 5.5% and the lowest reading since May 2021 (2.9%).

Elevated Prices
Cement, glass, and other non-metallic mineral product prices remain elevated, with annual price inflation at 11.5%. This is modestly lower than the 14.3% reported for June.

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