Food inflation: When will grocery prices stop rising?

Food inflation remains high in Canada despite lower headline inflation, and experts say it may be a while before food prices head in the opposite direction.

Gary Sands, senior vice president of the Canadian Federation of Independent Grocers, told the CTV News channel on Tuesday, “Unfortunately, I can’t give you any good news.” I see no relief.”

Food prices rose 11.4% year-on-year in January, up from 11% the previous month, according to Statistics Canada’s latest inflation report released on Tuesday. Since August of last year, food inflation he has exceeded 10%.

in research notes RBC economist Claire Fan said on Friday that conditions in the global economy suggested that food inflation could slow this year.

“Grocery price growth rose slightly again in January to 11.4% year-on-year, which is still a very high rate of price growth, but lower agricultural prices and global supply chain pressures Food prices are expected to decline this year due to the easing of the easing,” Huang wrote.

But even with food inflation falling, David McDonald, senior economist at the Canadian Center for Policy Alternatives, said food prices were not falling.

“I think this is one of the misconceptions about inflation. These prices haven’t gone away. They may slow down a bit,” he said in an interview with CTV News Channel on Tuesday. .

DT Cochrane, economist for Canadians for Tax Fairness, called food inflation “the most disconcerting category because it’s what we face every week.”

“A lot of our housing costs have been locked in, but we’re seeing food all the time. I think it’s going to continue to rise for a few more months,” he told the CTV news channel on Tuesday.

Sands said climate-related events over the past few months, including flooding in British Columbia and drought in California, along with the ongoing war in Ukraine, had a significant impact limiting imports and production. Did.

“We are also experiencing significant increases in fuel surcharges and transportation, and as you know, input costs across the supply chain continue to be passed on to retailers,” he said.

The bird flu epidemic in North America has also devastated the poultry industry, which has had to cull millions of chickens. Chicken prices rose 9% from December to January, faster than almost any other food item.

“There are myriad factors affecting the grocery supply chain,” says Sands.

Sands acknowledges that many of these factors that caused food inflation are outside the federal government’s control, but the government could help ease the cost burden when it comes to fuel costs and other transportation issues. It is said that there is

“These are the subject of many enjoyable discussions with government and industry right now,” he said.

Cochrane also wants the federal government to scrutinize the profit margins of major grocery stores more closely. The CEO of three major grocery chains, Loblaw, Metro and Empire, is set to testify before a House committee as he faces charges that he profits from inflation.

“The government needs to understand what needs to be done. First, they need to explain exactly what is happening here. There are no easy solutions to this,” he said. rice field.

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