ECONOMY

Price hikes slam households

Four-member family budgets facing an additional cost of more than 150 euros per month

price-hikes-slam-households

Price hikes on products and services are leading to the loss of one-and-a-half months’ salary on an annual basis, as the yearly burden added to four-member households from the increases is estimated at 1,812 euros, or €151 per month.

That added burden is actually calculated according to the hikes currently recorded and not on those projected for the coming months, which according to all indications and estimates will be even greater. Just in the category of supermarkets, fresh hikes are expected in 24 main categories of products that will gradually get passed onto consumers by mid-January.

The impact of hikes is not only eating into the disposable incomes of households, but also reducing market turnover. Since November there has been a decline in demand from supermarkets to electrical appliances and cars, and projections point to a 20% reduction in festive turnover compared to last year, when many stores were closed in the second lockdown.

The three factors inflicting the biggest blow on incomes are electricity, heating costs and fuel, and this is even greater for households that do not own the house they live in, as there is also a considerable jump in rental rates. The bigger power bills have already started arriving, generating major concerns among consumers, while there is a similar situation with heating costs, whether than concerns oil or gas.

Therefore, a family of four faces additional electricity costs of about 30 euros per month, while the monthly cost of heating (using oil) has risen by an average of €14. The rise in vehicle fuel costs has put an extra burden of some €40 per month for every car compared to last year.

Households also face a monthly hike of €15 from food and other basic commodities, but Kathimerini understands more price increases are on the way, in categories such as flour, cheese, cereals, pasta, sugar, coffee, tomatoes, eggs, vinegar, olive oil, chocolate etc. These hikes are expected as early as next month.