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Food prices in Canada set to rise: report

Canada's Food Price Report, from Dalhousie University, says food prices are set to increase but maybe not as much as first predicted


Halifax, NS – There’s good news and not so good news when it comes to the cost of food in Canada.

Dalhousie University’s Canada’s Food Price Report still predicts food prices will go up.

But the good news is that it forecasts prices to go up between 3 per cent to 4 per cent instead of its original forecast back in December of 3 per cent to 5 per cent.

In a statement, Dalhousie University says it also expects “food inflation” to continue to increase as the year draws to a close.

Highlights

The report says the Canadian dollar is showing come resiliency by remaining above $0.75 over the American dollar. The university warns that “if the dollar rises too fast, the Bank of Canada may decide to put a hold on interest rate hikes, which could in turn increase inflation across the board.”

Sylvain Charlebois, the lead author of the report, says “food importers’ buying power has not yet been compromised this year and supplies for many commodities have not been problematic.”

But crops affected by the excess moisture in California are exceptions to the rule.

The statement says the Canadian economy is also doing much better than expected, “which could add more inflationary pressures across the country.”

The report adds that even if interest rates go up, the authors don’t expect inflation to drop.

“Pricing strategies tend to react to a more robust economy as retailers will set price points they know the market can bear,” says Charlebois.

Another highlight from the statement is about weather. Across the globe it hasn’t been a significant factor, so “inventories of most commodities will remain stable.”

But, say the authors, they are expecting meat and fruit prices to increase significantly over the next few months.

In the statement, the report authors add that:

• meat products are generally higher by more than 11 per cent

• blueberries, lettuce, pears and broccoli are higher by more than 9 per cent

• prices for both dairy and fish have softened

For more on the report, click here.


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