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StatCan Blog: How to measure changes in Canada's grocery bill

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Released: 2017-06-23

They are the most knowledgeable people in the grocery aisles, but they don't work for the stores and they aren't there to buy anything. Their job is to record the prices for Statistics Canada.

This month's StatCan Blog takes a closer look at the work of the agency's price collectors, 100 dedicated individuals who check the costs of close to 100,000 separate consumer items each month—almost half of them food—in more than three dozen cities across the country.

The meticulous work of the price collectors allows the agency to update the Consumer Price Index, Canada's main indicator of changes in price levels, each month. Knowing how much it costs Canadians to fill their shopping carts is important for governments, businesses, social service providers and other organizations to better meet Canadians' needs.

Statistics Canada has been fine-tuning its price collection methods for 90 years, perfecting its methods and formula to create an increasingly precise measure.


The June 2017 edition of the StatCan Blog is now available.

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