You're paying more for canned food and toilet paper

grocery store

Statistics Canada says the annual inflation rate fell in April as the economy came to a standstill because of COVID-19.

The consumer price index for April fell 0.2 per cent compared with a year ago, the first year-over-year drop since September 2009.

Gas prices were down 39.3 percent but the prices of some other products were up.

Stats Can says you paid more for cleaning products, toilet paper and food.

According to analysis from the Agri-Food Analytics Lab, prices for canned goods have risen as much as 19% since December.

Senior Director, Dr. Sylvain Charlebois, says the increase can be explained by a drop in the Canadian dollar.

In March, the dollar lost about 7 cents of its value.

"Most of the products you can find in the centre of the store are imported," Charlebois says. "That may actually explain why prices have gone up significantly."

However, he says, that does not explain a 12 percent jump in the price of toilet paper.

"This is a bit of an enigma because...a lot of these products are not imported. So, something else was going on there," Charlebois says.

He can't say for sure whether there may be some price gouging going on because it's difficult to prove. 

Still, he says, "I would say that given that these products are not imported, that rate is unusually high."

Here are some of the price increases from December to April, according to Charlebois:

Baked beans: +19%
Canned tomatoes: +19%
Canned carrots: +14%
Canned soup: +12%
Bathroom tissue: +12%


With files from the Canadian Press