Ottawa − Statistics Canada’s Machinery and Equipment Price Index (MEPI) rose 1.0% in the fourth quarter of 2013 compared with the previous quarter. The import component was up 1.8% over the period, while the domestic component was down 0.2%.
The Canadian dollar depreciated 1.1% against the US dollar in the fourth quarter compared with the previous quarter. Variations in exchange rates can have a significant influence on the MEPI given the high weight that imported machinery and equipment have on the index.
All industries posted increases in prices of machinery and equipment purchased in the fourth quarter. The largest contributor to the total MEPI quarterly increase was finance, insurance and real estate (+1.7%), with the finance and insurance sub-component advancing 1.6% and the real estate and rental and leasing services sub-component up 2.2%. The second largest contributor to the quarterly increase was the manufacturing industry (+0.8%).
Most commodities posted price increases in the fourth quarter. Among them, trucks, road tractors and chassis (+3.5%), and automobiles, excluding passenger vans (+3.0%) contributed the most to the quarterly gain of the total MEPI.
Compared with the fourth quarter of 2012, the total MEPI increased 4.4%, with the import component rising 7.0% and the domestic component up 0.5%. The movement in the import component was partly influenced by the year-over-year change in the Canadian dollar (-5.6%) against the US dollar.