Which foods cost more in July in Canada?
Headline inflation increased in July, but Canadians did see a slower year-over-year growth in grocery prices, according to just-released data.
The latest Consumer Price Index (CPI) report by Statistics Canada blames last month's 2.8 per cent inflation increase from June 2023 "mainly" on gasoline.
"Excluding gasoline, the CPI rose 4.1 per cent, edging up from 4.0 per cent in June," the CPI, released Tuesday, states.
The CPI shows a 3.3 per cent year-over-year increase in July, due to factors including electricity prices in Alberta, which rose 127.8 per cent, and mortgage interest costs, which saw a 30.6 per cent gain.
But less at fault for the increase in overall inflation last month were grocery prices, StatCan said, noting that prices remained elevated, but grew at a slow pace in July.
According to the data, the cost of groceries rose 8.5 per cent in July, after a 9.1 per cent increase in June.
"Slower price growth was due mainly to prices for fresh fruit and, to a lesser extent, bakery products," the report reads.
While some products decreased in price, other items were more expensive in July, including pasta, frozen and dried vegetables and fruit juice.
HIGHEST PRICE INCREASES
Pasta products had the largest increase in cost out of all food products monitored between June and July.
The price skyrocketed 10.1 per cent month-to-month, with a year-over-year inflation rate of 17.1 per cent.
The largest year-over-year difference for a product in July was frozen and dried vegetables, which cost 18.1 per cent more. The products also saw a 5.1 per cent increase in price from June.
This is a contrast to the fresh vegetables category, which includes carrots, peppers, cucumbers and mushrooms. These items saw a smaller, 3.5 per cent increase in price. Year-over-year the inflation rate remained high, at 14.2 per cent.
Fruit juice climbed 5 per cent in price between June and July. Year-over-year the inflation rate landed at 15.9 per cent.
Tomatoes saw a 5.4 per cent jump in price between June and July. This resulted in an overall inflation rate of 14.1 per cent year-over-year.
Fresh and frozen chicken rose 3.6 per cent in price between June and July, the data shows. Year-over-year, shoppers paid 14.3 per cent more.
INFLATION SLOWING FOR SOME PRODUCTS
While many prices went up, some grocery items did drop in price from June to July.
Lettuce had the largest drop of any product month-to-month, with a price decrease of 11.5 per cent. Year-over-year the item's rate was still high, at 14.4 per cent.
Edible oils and fats decreased in price by 0.7 per cent from June to July, resulting in a year-over-year inflation rate of 15.5 per cent.
StatCan says prices for fresh fruit other than cherries and berries, and bakery products, aided the slowdown in grocery inflation.
"Prices for fresh fruit rose 4.1 per cent in July, following a 10.4 per cent increase in June," the CPI says. "The deceleration was driven by the largest month-over-month decline (-6.5 per cent) since February 2008."
The fresh fruit category that includes cherries and berries shows a 2.9 per cent decrease in price in July, from June.
A major decline in the price of grapes, which cost 40.9 per cent less in July, helped cool inflation.
Shoppers buying oranges paid 1.8 per cent less in July than in June.
Butter dropped 1.6 per cent in price month-to-month. From July 2022 to July 2023, the product had an inflation rate of 7.3 per cent, so even with the decrease, shoppers are paying more for butter than they did a year ago.
Bananas had a small decrease in price from June to July, at just 0.1 per cent, but they remain one of the most affordable foods, with a 0.6 per cent year-over-year inflation rate.