Festive spread to cost less this year

The average Greek family?s Christmas dinner will cost 3.1 percent less this year compared to last, according to data released by the Ministry of Development and Competitiveness.

Based on a price survey conducted by the ministry, the price for a family of six varies from 112.38 to 126.59 euros, depending on whether shoppers go for brand-name or generic products.

Notably, the survey revealed a significant drop in the price of groceries such as potatoes (down 29.3 percent), cabbage (-27.2 percent), oranges (-11.5 percent) and lettuce (-4.9 percent), while the price of meat remains more or less at the same levels as last year.

Bear in mind, however, that the survey of meat prices was conducted at farmers? and municipal markets, which are cheaper than supermarkets or butcher shops and usually not indicative of prices generally.

The National Confederation of Greek Commerce (ESEE) also conducted a survey of prices recently, concluding that the cost of an average Christmas meal will be 5.3 percent cheaper this year than last.

However, in exact numbers, its average price is higher than that outlined by the ministry?s survey, given that ESEE estimates a dinner for six to cost 158 euros this year compared to 167 euros in 2010.

The drop in price is mainly attributed to the lower cost of pork by 30.16 percent and the overall reduction in the price of meat generally, which is 12.7 percent down.

Groceries, according to ESEE, are also cheaper, with potatoes down 8.5 percent, while the average price of the traditional Greek Christmas sweets – ?melomakarona? and ?kourabiedes? – has also dropped this year compared to last.

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