Be vigilant when shopping this Christmas

The Consumer Affairs Division (CAD) continues to urge consumers to be vigilant and shop wisely during the Christmas period.

In an attempt to keep consumers informed, the Division’s staff monitors the prices of items at supermarkets and publishes the data quarterly in print and electronic media. This Basket of Goods includes the basic necessities which an average household consumes on a monthly basis. The selected products contained in the basket, which impact consumers across all income groups, were derived from a Basket of Goods Survey conducted by the Consumer Affairs Division of the Ministry of Trade and Industry in 2014.

The Basket of Goods, comprising one hundred and eighteen (118) selected food items is applied to thirty - nine (39) supermarkets in twenty (20) geographic locations in Trinidad and Tobago. A similar exercise is conducted by the Consumer Affairs Unit, (CAU) of the Tobago House of Assembly (THA) at eight (8) supermarkets on the island.

The Division has noted an optic in prices at supermarkets in first three quarters of 2017 as it relates to the basic Basket of Goods. In Quarter one, the sample basket of goods averaged one thousand five hundred and eighty dollars and seventy-nine cents ($1,580.79), which is slightly lower than Quarter two prices of one thousand five hundred and ninety-seven dollars and one cent ($1,597.01), representing an increase of sixteen dollars and twenty-two cents ($16.22). In Quarter three, the cost of the overall basket was one thousand six hundred and twenty-one dollars and thirty four cents ($1,621.34), a further increase of eight dollars and eleven cents ($8.11). This reflects a total increase of twenty four dollars and thirty-three cents ($24.33) from January- September, 2017.

For the month of December, the Consumer Affairs Division will publish the prices of basic food items along with the prices of items that are frequently purchased during this time of the year.  In addition to the supermarket prices, poultry prices collected at depots throughout Trinidad will be published on the Consumer Affairs Division’s Facebook page.

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.

Officers of the Consumer Affairs Division are available to answer any questions members of the public may have and also to deliver lectures and facilitate sessions on consumerism. To learn more about the Division, please contact us at 623-2931 extension 1902-1915, message us on Facebook @consumeraffairstt or send us an email at consumeraffairs@gov.tt. We look forward to hearing from you.

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