Some Price Indexes for Quebec and Montreal (1760-1913)


  • Gilles Paquet
  • Jean-Pierre Wallot


The study of price trends is of paramount importance to the economist and the historian interested in the socio-economies of the pre-industrial era. In Canada, many historians have collected various regional price data for the latter part of the eighteenth century and the first half of the nineteenth, but we are still lacking a consistent and composite price index that could help to extract the trends in real income, real production, and real wealth for the century before Confederation. A set of price indexes for the cities of Quebec and Montreal from 1761 to 1867 helps fill this gap. In the case of Quebec, these indexes are drawn from the data for 20 products over 106 years, while for Montreal (where sources are more limited) they are based on data for 10 products over 101 years. We extended the series of price indexes for Quebec to 1913 by splicing it with Humfrey Michell’s price indexes for the latter part of the nineteenth century.