Industrial producer prices soared to a 21-year high last month in Greece, pointing to further retail price hikes in the weeks and months to come.
At the same time the continued rise of wholesale electricity rates entails the maintenance of energy costs at high levels, which renders it very difficult for manufacturers and retailers to absorb hikes and prevent them from reaching consumers.
On top of that there is now the impact of the recent cold snap on agricultural produce, as hikes are already emerging in vegetable prices. Even in the areas that did not see heavy snowfall, the low temperatures of previous days appear to have damaged crops.
Figures released by the Hellenic Statistical Authority on Friday showed the industrial producer price index up 29.4% last month on December 2020. Besides being the biggest yearly rise seen during 2021, the ELSTAT statistics that date since 2000 show that the 125.68 in December 2021 constitutes a historic high. Such was the dramatic increase last month that compared to November 2021, industrial producer prices posted a monthly increase of 5.7%.
“While in the past price lists suppliers sent to supermarkets used to stay the same for as long as three years, now they may change up to three times a year,” organized food retailers tell Kathimerini.
Industrial producer prices for the domestic market rose 30.4% on an annual basis, and for the foreign markets by 26%. On a monthly basis the increase amounted to 8% and 1.5% respectively.
Over the last four weeks – i.e. up to mid-January – consumers were burdened with price hikes in over 20 basic product categories, such as flour, cheese, cold cuts, butter and margarine, dairy cereal, pasta, coffee, sugar, olive oil, bread products, eggs, detergents and paper products.
In the weeks to come consumers should also expect further hikes in flour, cereal and pasta, as well as personal hygiene products, after seeing huge hikes over the last couple of days in fruit and vegetables.