ECONOMY

Inflation soars to 7.2% in Feb

FinMin Christos Staikouras says consumer price index may go up to as high as 8%

Inflation soars to 7.2% in Feb

The national consumer price index recorded another jump last month to reach 7.2%, the Hellenic Statistical Authority (ELSTAT) announced on Thursday, and it may even rise further according to the Finance Minister. Christos Staikouras did not rule out an 8% reading in the coming months, in comments to Parapolitika FM on Thursday.

The rise is attributed not only to the continued increase in energy products, but also to the growth of food prices and the cost of services. The worst may well be yet to come, as the Russian invasion in Ukraine is pushing prices even higher. Consumers are already paying more than 2 euros per liter for unleaded gasoline, global natural gas and oil rates have jumped in the past few days, while supermarket shelves have just seen fresh price hikes that in some cases exceed 10%.

ELSTAT said that the biggest increases on an annual basis were recorded in natural gas (78.5%), electricity (71.4%), heating oil (41.5%), fuel and lubricants (23.2%), and air tickets (22.9%).

There were also significant hikes across a series of basic food commodities, such as olive oil (16.8%), vegetables (15.2%), lamb and goat meat (14.4%), fruit (9.8%), meat-based products (8.1%), poultry (6.8%), dairy and eggs (6%), bread (5.9%), beef (4.1%) and coffee (4%). Other notable increases were in apparel (5.6%), furniture (5.7%), new cars (7.6%) and used vehicles (11.5%).

On a monthly basis, the bad weather conditions in late January resulted in a 16% jump in the prices of vegetables and a 4.5% rise in potatoes in particular. There were also hikes in heating oil (8.5%), in electricity rates (9.4%) and in fuel (4.8%).

After the invasion in Ukraine two weeks ago the forecasts about a deceleration of the CPI are being reviewed as there are fears of market shortages of basic raw materials, while fuel prices continue to grow by the day.

Consumers also find that products have become much more expensive in supermarkets due to suppliers’ new price lists.