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Report: Prices of meat expected to jump 2% by year's end

Annual food price report predicts food prices to increase in 2017

The researchers behind Canada's annual food price report say while they expect food inflation to be slightly lower this year than previously estimated, shoppers should expect big jumps in the price of meat.

The mid-year forecast update by researchers from Dalhousie University in Halifax projects grocery and restaurant food prices will rise between 3% and 4% this year, rather than the 3% to 5% they anticipated back in December.

However, meat will be more expensive than they previously thought, with prices expected to jump 7% to 9% by the end of the year.

Lead author Sylvain Charlebois says the spike is due to low inventories, particularly for cattle and hogs, as well as grocers boosting prices to increase profits at the meat counter after prices were a little bit depressed at the end of 2016.

The report says Canadians can also expect to see prices go up by as much as 5% for fruits and 4% for vegetables, blaming California's rainy winter for some crop losses.

The mid-year update provides some good news for shoppers' wallets. Prices for dairy, eggs, bakery goods and cereals are expected to drop between 1% and 3%. They were expected to remain flat or rise up to 2%.

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