We assess the usefulness of various measures of core inflation over the COVID-19 pandemic. We find that Cpi-trim and CPI-median provided the best signal of underlying inflation. The favourable performance of these measures stems from their lack of reliance on historical experience, an especially valuable feature in unprecedented times.
Unusually large revisions to CPI-common in recent months stem from increased common movements across consumer price index components amid broad inflationary pressures. With recent revisions, CPI-common is more closely aligned with the Bank of Canada’s other two preferred measures of core inflation. However, caution is necessary when interpreting real-time estimates of CPI-common in the current environment.