Canadian household budgets are set to be further squeezed by higher consumer prices as retailers seek to boost profits lost from the weaker Canadian Dollar. The Retail Council of Canada’s survey of its members found that as many purchase items in US dollars, they are expecting to increase prices to consumers to mitigate their rising costs. The Consumer Price Index released Friday already showed an increase of 1.3 per cent in the 12 months to August with food costs up 3.6 per cent and household operations, furnishings and equipment rising 2.5 per cent. Only the lower cost of energy, especially gasoline, tempered the overall rise in household costs. Mortgage payments and other borrowing remain low due to interest rates but when they rise it will put pressure on household budgets.
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