No, you haven’t been tallying your weekly grocery bills incorrectly. Food prices in Yellowknife have been increasing over the past year.
Compared to March 2015, the cost of food in Yellowknife grew by an average of 5.4 percent, with restaurant prices going up an average of three percent and grocery store prices rising 6.4 percent since last year. This information comes from the monthly Consumer Price Index released last Friday by the NWT Bureau of Statistics.
“Consumer prices increased in Yellowknife for most major components with the exception of shelter and alcoholic beverages & tobacco products,” the release notes. However, “higher prices for food (5.4%) and clothing & footwear (6.0%), were offset by lower prices for fuel oil and other fuels (-23.8%) and gasoline (-10.0%).”
Overall, the price for a total basket of goods increased by 1.7 percent between March 2015 and March 2016. That’s slightly more than the CPI increase in Edmonton, which went up by 1.6 percent, and significantly more than our northern sister city, Whitehorse, which saw their CPI grow by a one percent. The average CPI increase across the country was 1.3 percent.
The biggest price jump was in “clothing accessories & jewellery” which went up a whopping 17.5 percent. So-called ‘sin products,’ alcohol and tobacco, went in different directions, with alcoholic beverages dropping by three percent but “Tobacco Products & Smokers’ Supplies” going up 4.3 percent.
Yellowknife’s “fiscal year inflation rate,” a slightly different measure, increased by much the same rate, 1.8 percent. However, “this was in contrast with the Canadian rate which decreased to 1.2%.”