ECONOMY

Inflation hits fresh high in March

Inflation hits fresh high in March

Inflation soared last month to levels unseen since the mid-1990s, reaching 8.9% on an annual basis, the Hellenic Statistical Authority (ELSTAT) announced on Friday.

This is attributed mainly to the hikes in electricity rates as well as the rise in prices across all basic food products. The hikes are not just big, but they’re also rapid, with the consumer price index growing considerably within just one month, by 2.7% compared to February 2022.

The last time inflation had been this high was in March and April 1996 (8.8%), while in April 1995 it had come to 9.4%.

Last month the cost of electricity rose 79% on an annual basis, followed by a 68% hike in natural gas costs. Heating oil rose 58.5% and vehicle fuel (gasoline and diesel) increased 29%.

There were also major annual hikes in food commodities: Bread went up 7.6%, meat rose 6.4%, dairy products and eggs grew 8.4%, fruit became 7.8% more expensive and coffee followed with a 5.4% rise. Yet they were dwarfed by the hikes in olive, vegetable and sunflower oil (up 19.9%) and vegetables (13.6%).

The price of bread is expected to rise further, due to problems in the supply of soft wheat.