Canada is struggling through a dramatic economic adjustment, especially in Alberta, the heart of the country’s oil patch. Amid the ongoing crude carnage the province has seen soaring property crime, rising food bank usage and, sadly, elevated suicide rates, as Albertans struggle to comprehend how things up north could have gone south (so to speak) so quickly.
The plunging loonie “can only serve to worsen the death of the 'Canadian Dream'" we said on Tuesday.
As it turns out, we were right.
The currency's decline is having a pronounced effect on Canadians' grocery bills.
As Bloomberg reminds us, Canada imports around 80% of its fresh fruits and vegetables. When the loonie slides, prices for those goods soar. "With lower-income households tending to spend a larger portion of income on food, this side effect of a soft currency brings them the most acute stress" Bloomberg continues.
Of course with the layoffs piling up, you can expect more households to fall into the "lower-income" category where they will have to fight to afford things like $3 cucumbers, $8 cauliflower, and $15 Frosted Flakes.
As Bloomberg notes, James Price, director of Capital Markets Products at Richardson GMP, recently joked during an interview on BloombergTV Canada that "we're going to be paying a buck a banana pretty soon."
Have a look at the following tweets which underscore just how bad it is in Canada's grocery aisles. And no, its not just Nunavut: it from coast to coast:
Three bucks. For a cucumber. pic.twitter.com/xGkygxkxqB— Steve Ladurantaye (@sladurantaye) January 12, 2016
@sladurantaye Heh. Had a similar reaction when I saw the price of cauliflower. Welcome to the future… pic.twitter.com/fxloxyePY3— Craig Saila (@saila) January 12, 2016
The cost of Tide detergent in Nunavut: pic.twitter.com/2t2xA1EmYk— themsteri (@teririch) December 31, 2015