Staple foods such as vegetables or rice are already more than 20% more expensive
The increase in cost of staple foods such as chicken, milk, eggs, vegetables or rice already exceeds 20% in the euro area as a whole, pushing more and more inflation that the energy crisis has brought to unprecedented levels in the countries with the common currency. Eurostat recently confirmed that inflation in the euro area in October stood at the 10.6% compared to the same month of the previous year And, although energy costs continue to be the main factor as a result of the Russian war in Ukraine, the increase in prices is increasingly affecting a greater number of products in the shopping basket.
The food, alcohol and tobacco chapter accumulates several small but constant monthly increases in its contribution to inflation and last month was already responsible for 26% of it. In October 2021, this section represented barely 10.5% of the increase (inflation was then 4.1%). Within the food category -its interannual rate stands at 15.9%- a group of basic products stands out whose increase has skyrocketed in the last year above 20%. In it are the fresh whole milk (24.5%)pasta (22.5%), chicken (21%), eggs (20.7%), rice (20.4%), cheese (20.1%) or vegetables (20%).
Below that bar, but with increases that far exceed double digits, the price of meat in general has increased by 14.6% since October of last year, driven (in addition to the higher price of chicken), by the pork (14.8%) and beef (13.7%).
The bread (15.5%), potatoes (14.4%), olive oil (12.8%) and fish (12%) are also above the double-digit barrier, which is close to fruit, with an increase of 8.1% in the last year . In contrast, butter and sugar register inflation above 35%. For their part, non-alcoholic beverages have already increased by 11%, with coffee exceeding 15%, while the price of alcoholic beverages has grown by 6.6%: beer by 8.6%, wine 6.5% and spirits 4%.
Despite these increases, the energy prices still stand as the main vector of inflation and explain almost half of the 10.6% increase observed last month (energy contributes 4.44 points to that figure, compared to 2.74 points for food, beverages and tobacco). This is partly explained by the price of electricity, which after several months below 40%, exceeded that level again in October to stand at 45.6%. Gas, for its part, shot up to an increase of 77.6% and coal became more expensive by 64.2%.
To this is added the rise in the price of fuelAlthough inflation for both diesel and gasoline has moderated in recent months: both have become more expensive by 28% and 12% in October, respectively, but in March these rates were 46% and 35%.
Together, energy and food products are currently rresponsible for almost 70% of inflation unprecedented in the countries of the common currency and against which the European Central Bank (ECB) is fighting with three rate hikes since the summer and other new ones that are expected in the coming months despite the fact that it is mainly driven by factors other than the demand.
“Eurozone inflation is too high after reaching double digits in October for the first time since the launch of Monetary Union, AND with the prospect of it remaining high for a long period of timewe have to carefully monitor inflation expectations,” justified this Friday the president of the issuing institute, Christine Lagarde.
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