The cost of food in Yellowknife is increasing more rapidly than ever, even as inflation more broadly continues to ease.
Year-on-year change in food prices reached 13.2 percent in February, the NWT Bureau of Statistics said on Tuesday, a figure not matched in the city’s recent history.
The January year-on-year figure for Yellowknife food prices had been just over 10 percent.
The Yellowknife figure outstrips the Canada-wide food price increase between February 2022 to February 2023, which Statistics Canada pegged at 10.6 percent.
As a whole, inflation in Yellowknife slowed to 5.8 percent year-on-year in February – the lowest inflation figure the city has posted for a year, down from 6.3 percent in January. Across Canada as a whole, year-on-year inflation for February was 5.2 percent.
Inflation in Yellowknife peaked at 8.3 percent last June.
The city is coping with a rapid rise in the cost of living not seen since the early 1990s. In the majority of years between 1992 and 2021, inflation in Yellowknife came in at less than two percent annually.
Food prices in the city barely shifted between 2016 and 2021, according to consumer price index data, but increases in the cost of food have now outstripped inflation in Yellowknife for every month since last summer.
Fruit and nuts are now 19.4 percent more expensive in the city than they were a year ago, the NWT Bureau of Statistics said on Tuesday. Vegetable prices have risen by an average of 18.9 percent, while baked goods and cereals are up 18.2 percent. Dairy and egg prices rose by 16.5 percent.
Increases in the price of meat, fish and other seafood have been much less pronounced.
The price of food from restaurants increased by 10.9 percent over the same period, the bureau stated.
Yellowknife is the only NWT community where the cost of living is tracked in detail on a monthly basis.