September 21, 2023: Headline inflation in Ontario Creeping Back Up

September 21, 2023

Headline inflation in Ontario increased from 3.2% in July to 3.8% in August. Inflation excluding food and energy also increased, but by a smaller amount, as it climbed up from 3.5% to 3.6%. Prices for Cement, glass, and non-metallic mineral products increased at 9.4% year-over-year, finally reaching single digit inflation. Energy and petroleum products and Lumber and other wood products continue to experience year-over-year prices decreases, however energy prices declined at a much slower rate compared to July. Plastic and Rubber Products and Packaging and Materials both fell below 3% inflation, both for the first time in over 2 years. Fabricated metal and construction materials price index fell slightly, the 6th drop in a row for this product category.

Ontario year-over-year headline inflation increased from 3.2% in July to 3.8% in August, driving inflation back near levels seen in the first half of the year. Higher food price inflation once again played a role, in addition to higher goods inflation, which increased from 2.3% to 3.5%. Services inflation also increased a small amount, from 4% to 4.1%. Energy price inflation fell for the 6th consecutive month, but only decreased a mere 0.4% annually, compared to the -8.3% year-over-year from July. Core inflation edged up from 3.5% to 3.6%.

Decreasing Prices

Energy and petroleum product prices declined 9.1% annually, a much slower pace compared to the 22.7% year-over-year decline in July. This was the 6th consecutive decrease in this category. Lumber and other wood products prices decreased 15.5% year-over-year, making this the 10th consecutive drop. This was similar to the 15.1% decrease in July. Fabricated metal and construction materials prices dropped 2.4% annually. This is the 6th consecutive drop in this category and similar to the -3% year-over-year from July.

Slowing Prices 
Packaging materials and containers annual price inflation slowed from 3.1% in July to 2.9% in August.  Inflation in this category has been easing since February and is the lowest in over 2 years. Plastic and rubber product inflation was 2.8%, less than July’s 4.5% and the first time this index has been below 3% in over 2 years.

Elevated Prices
Cement, glass, and other non-metallic mineral product prices remain elevated, with annual price inflation at 9.4%. However, this is down from the 11.8% inflation in July and the first time in a year that it has gone down to single digits.

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