Inflation remained at a double-digit rate for a fifth consecutive month, slipping to 11.4% in August compared to 11.6% in July, with the price increases in natural gas – more than three times that of last August – and food – even the most basic, such as bread, milk, oil and meat – to set the tone.
The suspension of the electricity clause resulted in prices increasing at a lower rate compared to the previous period. However, the threat of natural gas supply disruptions, which will raise the prices of other energy products as well, is far from gone for the coming winter. At the same time food inflation, 13.2% in August from 13% in July, continues to squeeze households, mainly the most vulnerable.
According to the data the Hellenic Statistical Authority (ELSTAT) announced on Friday, the consumer price index increased in August by 11.4% on an annual basis, while compared to July 2022 it decreased by 0.3%.
The growth in the price of natural gas by 261.3% compared to August 2021 is remarkable, while in electricity the increase was 38.5%. The above hikes arise after taking into account the subsidies on the electricity and natural gas bills. Fuel also recorded a smaller increase compared to previous months, at 21.5%, as a result of the slight de-escalation in the price of oil.
In any case, food is at the peak of price increases, with no signs of a price de-escalation in the near future. In August price increases were recorded on an annual basis for bread by 18.5%, for dairy products by 18%, for olive oil by 25.5%, for meat by 17.1%, for vegetables by 7.9%, for coffee by 12.5 %, and for sugar by 6.3%.
As regards dairy and meat in particular, retail prices are not expected to decelerate, given the very high animal feed prices, which in turn are leading many farmers to drive their animals to slaughter. In other words, the supply of either meat or milk as a raw material will decrease, causing producer prices to rise and then consumer prices to rise.
It is also worth noting that the monthly hikes in these products were also high, by 2.5% for dairy products and by 3.9% for cold cuts.