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19 December, 2018: – The Consumer Affairs Division (CAD) continues to assist consumers with making informed and wise decisions while holiday shopping. During the Christmas season the Division monitored the prices of items at supermarkets including those which comprise the “Basket of Goods” – one hundred and eighteen (118) basic necessities consumed monthly by the average household- and other items heavily utilised in Christmas preparations.

The CADs most recent survey was conducted in thirty nine (39) supermarkets in twenty (20) areas in Trinidad and seven (7) supermarkets in Tobago.

As it pertains to the supermarket prices for the “Basket of Goods” items there was an overall decrease of 0.43% in the total price. This overall decrease is attributable to the many specials being offered on items which in turn impacted the total price, although specific items may have recorded moderate increases. In Tobago, there was some price fluctuation which accounted for 46 items or 42.6% of the products increasing or decreasing by 2% or lower in December 2018 as compared to October 2018, suggesting that pricing is more dynamic in Tobago than in Trinidad. There are some items that would have displayed an increase or decrease of more than 5%.

The seasonal items surveyed in 2018 showed no major increase in prices over the corresponding period December, 2017. Turkey and Picnic Ham – chicken, pork and beef – all maintained the same prices in December, 2018 as compared to December, 2017 with the only increase in the meats being minced pork which increased by 19.5%.

Other items including Angostura bitters, Peardrax, Malta and sorrel drinks all had no significant increases. Apples and grapes maintained the same prices in December of 2018 as compared to the corresponding period in the previous year while currants, raisins, mix peel and prunes carried the same prices per pound in December, 2018 as December, 2017. These prices were only subject to change if different brands were sought by the consumer. Prices in Tobago also showed no significant increases with the exception of Turkey (bone-in) which decreased in price by 35.0% in December, 2018 as compared to December, 2017.

The Consumer Affairs Division wishes to remind members of the public that the Division, in addition to price monitoring, continues its educational drive with the intent of empowering consumers through knowledge, information sharing and sensitization on consumers’ rights and responsibilities.  Consumers have the right to determine whether to purchase an item and from whom to purchase. In the current environment, the Division is reminding consumers to be vigilant, make informed and wise decisions as well as exercise caution while making purchases.

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