Prices surge 10.7% in May

EU-harmonized inflation rate in Greece was the fifth highest in the eurozone, says Eurostat

Prices surge 10.7% in May

Prices in Greece jumped again in May, in line with the soaring inflation in the rest of the eurozone, as Eurostat on Tuesday reported a 10.7% annual increase in the European Union-harmonized index of prices in this country. The figures are increasing concerns about the impact on the national economy and household budgets, while there are no signs of the crisis in energy or in Ukraine abating at all.

The rise in the Eurostat-reported data from 9.1% in April points to a similar increase in the May consumer price index reading of the Hellenic Statistical Authority (ELSTAT) above 11% when it is announced on June 9, from 10.2% in April.

For the entire eurozone Eurostat estimates inflation reached a new historic high of 8.1% in May, due to the huge hikes in energy (39.2%) and then in food (7.5%), industrial non-energy products (4.2%) and even in services (3.5%).

Greece is now the eurozone state with the fifth highest inflation rate, but the full extent of the price growth in goods and services and its impact on consumption is reflected in ELSTAT’s data on retail commerce turnover for March.

The figures reveal a predictable growth in sales volume, given that the comparison is with a lockdown month (March 2021), but that 12.3% rise pales in comparison with the 20.2% jump in turnover, owing to the soaring prices.

In some product categories the rise in turnover is more than three times higher than that of sales volume, with fuel being the best example: Although Greek consumers bought 12.7% more fuel than in March 2021, they spent 45.5% more money on it – and fuel rates had not yet reached the current highs at that point.

The ELSTAT data further reveal the major price hikes have led to a reduction in consumption even at supermarkets: March recorded a 1.3% drop in sales volume, while turnover rose 5.5%.

At the same time apparel saw 79.8 growth in sales volume and a 92% increase in turnover, as departments stores reported a 24.9% jump in sales volume and a 28.5% advance in turnover. 

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