The Consumers Council of Canada today released a study on the changes in the price of hockey equipment that followed the elimination of tariffs in the 2013 Federal budget.
The study examined the price of more than 300 junior and youth hockey equipment items available through leading on-line retailers in Canada and the United States. It analyzed year-over-year price changes from April 2013 – shortly after measures to eliminate tariffs on hockey equipment were announced in the Federal budget – and April 2014. The government’s stated aim was “to reduce the gap in retail prices that Canadian consumers pay compared to those in the U.S.” Along with similar changes to baby clothing tariffs, then-Finance Minster Jim Flaherty noted that the tariff reductions would be monitored to see what would happen to consumer prices, and that tariff reductions on other products could follow.
The key findings from the Consumers Council of Canada study:
- Online prices through Canadian retailers were lower in 2014 than in 2013 in each of the six categories of equipment. Price reductions ranged from 8 to 15 per cent;
- Online prices through U.S. retailers were also lower in 2014 than in 2013 in each category. Price reductions ranged from 6 to 17 per cent;
- Canadian prices remained higher than U.S. prices, when expressed in Canadian dollars. The gap between Canadian prices and U.S. prices was narrower in 2014 than in 2013, as a result of exchange rate changes rather than any differential in price reductions between retailers in the two countries.
“Canadian consumers may have seen lower prices on hockey equipment in 2014, but so did U.S. consumers, and there were no similar tariff reductions in the United States,” said Consumers Council of Canada Vice President Don Mercer. “It’s not clear that the tariff reductions actually led to the price reductions. We may be measuring simple normal price declines for year-old products.”
Download the complete report