Theft of goods from open retail establishments in Canada has surged to an alarming level across the country, with inflation and labour shortages cited as major factors behind the increase, according to The Global News.
The news outlet, which referenced the most recent Canada's Food Price Report, claims that "the uptick has triggered concern among Canadian grocers even as the rise in food prices helps pad their bottom lines. Grocery prices were up 11 percent year-over-year in October, and they're not expected to ease any time soon. The total cost of groceries for a family of four is expected to be $1,065 more than it was this year."
Sylvain Charlebois, senior director of the Agri-Food Analytics Lab at Dalhousie University in Halifax, claims that inflation in food prices is one of the main drivers pushing more people to steal.
“There is a correlation between the two, absolutely. Theft is an ongoing issue. But the intensity actually does increase when food prices go up,” he said, noting that meat and dairy products are the top two stolen items.
He warned the problem may grow if the economy slows down next year as some economists suggest.
“If you see both food prices go up and … the economy slows down, jointly that is when you basically see even more stuff.”
According to Reuters, the Canadian dollar has fallen nearly 7% against its US counterpart since August and even further against some other G10 currencies, creating a potential boost for exports.
Inflation eased to 6.9% in October after peaking at 8.1% in June but is likely to be more persistent than previously thought after spreading from goods prices to services and wages, where higher costs can become more entrenched.
According to Statistics Canada, gasoline got more expensive in October as OPEC signalled looming production cuts and the Canadian dollar weakened. So too did owning a home, as Canadians renewed their mortgages at higher rates. Meat, fruit, and vegetable prices also continued to rise, but less than in previous months. Meanwhile, costs fell for telephone services, video equipment, computer devices, and digital media.