The first four months of the year saw a 2.2% average increase in the prices of basic supermarket goods, according to the findings of the IRI market research company, confirming concerns that inflationary pressures could weigh on the economic recovery.
The price hikes are greatest in the food category, averaging at 3.6% in January-April compared to a year earlier. This is likely to have an impact on consumption, especially by households on the lowest incomes.
The IRI data also point to an increase in personal hygiene commodity prices, at a 1.1% mean rate, while prices of household goods such as washing detergents etc – which registered a significant drop in sales – posted a marginal 0.3% slide.
Supermarkets managed to remain on a growth course over the first four months of the year after a very robust 2020 thanks to the pandemic. They appear to have benefited from the closure of food service, while the rest of retail commerce only resumed operations in early April.
On an annual basis, supermarket sales rose 1.3% from January-April 2020 to 2.75 billion euros.