Wed. Feb 28th, 2024

L’inflation amè Many Canadians are reducing their spending for Christmas

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Some Canadians are reducing their spending after a new year of inflation.

Radio-Canada

Due to limited budgets, many Canadians struggle to meet the expectations of the holiday season, such as buying gifts and preparing meals for family and friends.

< p class="StyledBodyHtmlParagraph-sc-48221190-4 hnvfyV">People feel financial pressure to maintain the level of tradition, comfort or entertainment to which they are accustomed, notes Janet Music, associate researcher at the analysis laboratory agribusiness from Dalhousie University in Halifax.

There's a real emotional connection to traditions discussed at this time of year, like the food on the table and its meaning, and that can be very costly, she adds.

A traditional Christmas meal for a group of four to six people would cost an average of $104.85 this year, according to the lab's data. This price includes turkey, potatoes, sauces, vegetables, stuffing, pie, eggnog and dessert.

However, the cost varies depending on the different regions of the country. Food prices are higher in the maritime provinces, for example, and even higher in the northern territories.

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Although food prices are slowly falling after three years of inflation, products typically associated with holiday meals remain expensive. The price of turkey increased by 5% compared to last year, that of potatoes by almost 7% and that of carrots by almost 13%, according to data from the analytical laboratory agri-food from Dalhousie University.

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The number of Canadians using food banks reached a record high this year, with more than 1.9 million visits in March 2023.

The number of Canadians using food banks reached a record high this year, with more than 1.9 million visits in March 2023, surpassing the previous record set last year by 32%.

In a national survey released in October 2022, 30% of Canadians said they were eating less healthy foods due to rising prices and almost 20% said they skipped meals to save money.

Agrifood analysis laboratory predicts food prices will continue to rise ;increase next year, but at a slower rate, 2.5 to 4.5 percent overall.

While Statistics Canada data shows that the food component of the consumer price index increased by 5.9% over the past 12 months, the agri-food lab's 2024 report reveals that the average family has spent $693 less on food.

This means Canadians likely ate less or cut back on cheaper products to cover other growing expenses.

According to a July survey by Ipsos, 47% of meat eaters said they planned to reduce their meat consumption this year. Cost is the most common reason given for this decision.

According to Ms. Music, the reduction in spending during the holiday season is partly due to financial pressures linked to inflation, which are being felt in other areas, such as housing.

The food budget is what people dip into when they need to cover larger expenses, says Music. The increase in the cost of the mortgage or rent, for example, is not something that can be resolved in the short term.

Currently, it is housing that absorbs all other discretionary spending, says the researcher.

Bank of Canada Governor Tiff Macklem said last week that consumer confidence was at the lowest level of the recession, even whether the unemployment rate is at pre-COVID-19 levels.

According to him, there is no doubt that inflation is largely responsible for the problem.

People feel like work hard, but their paychecks no longer allow them to buy what they used to buy, he declared following his last speech of the #x27;year.

According to Ms. Music, some Canadians, including people she knows, are forgoing the traditional Christmas celebration altogether. That's what my friends and I see in those around us, she says.

People may not want to take the risk to spend too much, because they don't know what the next month has in store for them, she observes. So it's something you have to let go of and it's difficult emotionally.

With the information by CBC

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