Bulk wholesale clothing and home appliances are going for cheap in Canada as Canadians are buying more groceries than ever.
The national grocery retail price index for May, a key monthly survey, rose 0.1 per cent in May from a year ago, according to the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA).
This was the second consecutive month it rose in May, which would indicate Canadians are more likely to be buying groceries in bulk.
The index rose 0,814.5 points to 1,982.9 for the month of May, while the price index rose 1.2 per cent year-on-year, the lowest since September.
The CPI is a composite measure of inflation, which includes food, energy and transport costs.
The price index in May is not a good indicator of what Canadians are spending at the grocery store, but it does reflect how many items Canadians are choosing to buy, said CFIA economist Bruce Bagnall.
In recent years, Canada’s food price index has been at a low of about 1,800 points.
But it is possible Canadians are saving up for groceries, as the price indexes have been trending higher for the past few months.
The last time Canadians had a positive index was in June of 2015.
Food and beverage manufacturers have been reporting record profits this year as they push consumers to buy more products and less of them.
Last month, the Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB) said its members sold more than $3.8 billion worth of goods in May alone.
“The recent increase in the price of some food items has been particularly notable.
We’re seeing prices jump in products such as meat, poultry and cheese,” CFIB President and CEO Craig Wright said in a release.”
It’s clear consumers are buying less food than they were last year, and the good news is they are buying fewer of the products they are.”
While prices have been rising, consumers are finding ways to save for their groceries.
Consumers in Ontario and British Columbia have begun to save more, with average grocery savings rising to $3,000 and $4,200 in May compared to May of last year.
But some grocery shoppers are taking matters into their own hands and are using the online shopping portal CouponPrices.ca, which allows Canadians to compare and buy products from across Canada.
In April, Canadian consumers saved more than 70 per cent of the value of their grocery purchases through online shopping.
The price of $2.59 for an ounce of apples in May was the lowest level on record, while prices for fresh fruit and vegetables fell to the lowest levels on record.
“We know consumers are saving a lot, but there’s so much more to be done,” said Doug Stoddart, president of the Ontario Federation of Food Producers.
“I think we need to be proactive and be asking questions and asking questions of the retailers and asking the government to be involved.”
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