How to cut down on the cost of groceries and office supplies in 2017 article The cost of food, gas, and clothing in Canada has been declining for decades, and many people are paying less for what they need.
But the cost to consumers of everything from diapers to coffee to electronics continues to rise, and this trend could accelerate if the economy continues to slow, according to a new report.
“There’s a lot of money out there, but not a lot that’s being spent on it,” said Julie Dzierzinska, senior economist with the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives.
“The price of basic needs has gone up and the prices of everything else has gone down.”
The report, published by the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers (CAPP), is based on a new index that includes the cost per kilogram of fuel, oil, and electricity, along with other goods and services.
The cost to the average Canadian household rose by almost $2,500 in 2017, to $47.40.
That was the largest increase of any year since 2001.
It’s not all bad news for consumers.
Gas prices have been falling since 2018.
The average price of gas in Alberta and Saskatchewan fell by $1.10 per litre in 2017 from the previous year.
However, prices in Ontario and British Columbia rose by nearly $1,600 and $1 and $2 a litre respectively, according the report.
Consumers in Alberta were able to keep their prices in check thanks to an energy efficiency measure that lowered the price of oil and natural gas to $1 per liture from the year before.
But the biggest gains were for consumers in Alberta.
“In the province of Alberta, average household energy bills have gone up $6,200 since 2017,” said Capp’s chief economist, Michael Van Loan.
“That’s a good sign that Alberta is finally taking notice and looking for ways to make things easier for its residents.”
The province’s total energy bill in 2017 was $16.5 billion, up $4.7 billion from the same year in 2016.
“This means that energy bills are now a little bit lower than in some of the other provinces,” said Dzierska.
“But it’s not that they’re getting cheaper.
It’s just that they are lower than the costs of things that Canadians already have in their houses.”CAPP’s report also shows that people are spending less on things like groceries and household appliances.
In 2017, average Canadians spent $4,857 on food, compared to $637 in 2018.
But those spending patterns are reversing, with average grocery bills in 2017 up $2 per week from the preceding year.
The amount of household disposable income has also gone down since the recession, with a fall of about $1 a day in 2017.CAPP said that while Canadians are living longer, there’s a need to keep up with inflation.
“If we don’t act now to protect our families and communities, we could be heading towards a future in which we’re living longer,” said Van Loan in a release.
“I think it’s important for everyone to understand the trends and the reasons behind those trends, and what they mean for their own finances and the economic recovery.”
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