According to him Statistics National Institute (INE), food products were 15.3% more expensive in November -the latest data available- than a year ago. This means that food is practically twice as expensive as life in general, because although the Consumer price index (CPI) marked a record increase of 10.8% in July, since then it has been declining to stand at 6.8% in November. On the other hand, food products have risen in price uninterruptedly to reach a record 15.4% in October. In November the rate is lower, but only one tenth. The evolution of the annual rate of underlying inflation (which excludes the most volatile elements such as energy and unprocessed food) rose to 6.9% in December, more than one point above the general average.
2 Which products have risen the most in price?
Once again, according to INE data, the products that have become more expensive in November (the last detailed data) are non-olive oils (+55.9%), the sugar (+50%), the flour (+37.6%), the Butter (+37.5%), the sauces (+32.1%), milk skim (+31%) and whole (+30.9%), bakery products other than bread (+27.4%), the eggs (+27.1%) and the olive oil (+25.9%). These foods also lead the ranking of the products that have become more expensive so far this year. This does not imply that they are the most expensive in the supermarket, but rather the ones that have risen the most in price compared to the same month of 2021.
3 Why have these foods gone up so much?
Prices can go up or down depending on how a harvest goes, how much it costs to produce them, or because of breaks in the supply lines. “This year we have everything,” introduces the president of the Agro-food Economics Commission of the Col·legi d’Economistes de Catalunya, Francesc Reguant, which however points out that what has caused the graph to skyrocket (and some products to become more expensive than others) has been the war in Ukraine. “The war has taken place between the two most important countries for the production of essential products: Ukraine and Russia are the major exporters of cerealsfrom sunflower oil and of fertilizer& rdquor ;, explains the expert.
4 How much does a basic shopping basket cost in December?
A basket with ten food products that are considered basic for a balanced diet now costs around 25 euros. It is the average that comes out when comparing the price of these products in the three supermarkets with the largest share in Catalonia. This lot would include 1 kilogram of macaronia pot of lentils, extra virgin olive oil, mincea milk carton and one dozen eggs all white label and also a bunch of charda mesh with potatoes and another with oranges and one loaf of bread.
5 Will prices continue to rise this year?
According to the economist Francesc Reguant, the situation is relaxing. It is based above all on the forecasts of the futures markets, environments in which the conditions of sale of certain materials are agreed in the short, medium or long term. They predict that a year from now the approximate increase will be 2%, a much lower percentage than the current one. “We are in the process of reducing prices,” explains Reguant, adding to the equation the drop in energy and fuel prices. In any case, “one very clear thing is that this is full of uncertainty: if the war ended now, all prices would return to equilibrium, but if Russia dropped an atomic bomb, tomorrow prices would multiply by five.”
6 What measures have been taken to alleviate it?
One of them consists of suppressing the 4% VAT on bread, bread-making flour, milk, cheese, eggs, fruit, vegetables, legumes, tubers (potatoes) and cereals and reducing the 10 % to 5% that of oils and pastes. The measure will be maintained until June 30 or until the underlying annual inflation rate, which excludes energy and unprocessed food prices, drops below 5.5%. The other support consists of a check of 200 euros in a single payment for income of less than 27,000 euros per year and assets of less than 75,000, not including the habitual residence. According to a calculation for a weekly shopping basket for a family of four of 122.84 euros, you will save about 3.5 euros.
7 What do supermarkets say?
The proposal of the supermarkets and commerce in general, also of the smallest businesses, was that the Government will lower VAT on food. This was stated by the main associations of companies in the distribution sector after meeting with Yolanda Díaz, assuring that such a measure was carried out in Germany in 2020 for six months with positive results. They also ask to temporarily suspend the environmental taxes that penalize consumption and reductions in regulatory costs.
8 What do consumer associations say?
The Organization of consumers and users (OCU) also opted for lowering VAT on certain staple foods for a while, such as fruits and vegetablesthe legumesthe ricethe pastathe meatthe fishthe milkthe eggsthe bread… .