The Behaviour of Consumer Prices Across Provinces
Measures of core inflation enable a central bank to distinguish price movements that are transitory and generated by non-monetary events from those that are more permanent and related to prior monetary policy decisions. The author uses standard statistical measures to assess the behaviour of consumer prices across provinces and identify price components with more divergent price patterns. The results indicate that energy, shelter and tobacco prices are the most volatile across provinces. Very large price movements restricted to one or a few provinces suggest that the forces or events triggering those movements may be province specific and unrelated to national demand pressures. Such results suggest that constructing a type of core inflation measure called the “trimmed mean” that excludes components with exceptionally large price changes at the provincial level may offer an alternative means of assessing underlying inflationary pressures.