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Inflation – February 2023. Prices in stores continue to rise – what has increased the most? New report

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Prices in stores in February 2023 increased by an average of 20.8 percent year on year, according to the report “Index of prices in retail stores” by UCE Research and WSB Universities. The price of dairy products increased the most, overtaking bread and household chemicals in this respect.

According to the “Price Index in Retail Stores”, in February this year. prices increased by an average of 20.8 percent. Every year. For comparison, in January it was an increase of 20 percent, in December by 24.8 percent, and in November – 25.8 percent. The authors of the report – as in previous months – analyzed over 37 thousand. retail stores and the prices of the 100 products most often purchased by consumers. As explained, a total of over 72.6 thousand. retail prices from over 37,000 stores belonging to 61 retail chains.

Inflation in stores

“The renewed increase in price dynamics was predictable due to the increase minimum wage by nearly 12 percent in January 2023. Also, as they show GUS data, the average monthly salary in the enterprise sector went up by 13.5 percent year-on-year. For some trading companies, this was an important reason for raising prices” – indicated, quoted in the report, Dr. Justyna Rybacka from the WSB University in Gdynia.

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“High charges for electricity and gas are also significant. This year the anti-inflation shield ceased to apply, which means a return to higher VAT rates on gas, fuels and electricity” – she added.

According to Dr. Robert Orpych from the WSB University in Chorzów, in the near future, and certainly before Easter, one cannot expect a slowdown in the dynamics of price growth in stores. According to him, the level exceeds 20 percent. will stay with us for longer.

At the same time, Orpych pointed out that in the annual perspective, it can be expected that the price growth dynamics will eventually decrease, because subsequent measurements will refer to increasingly higher values ​​from last year. However, this will not translate into discounts in stores. Prices will continue to grow, only slower, and Poles will pay more and more for individual products – stressed Orpych.

In his opinion, “we are still ahead of the peak of high prices, after which the dynamics of price growth will gradually decrease year-on-year.” In the opinion of Dr. Orpycha “Poles have not been in such a difficult economic situation since the systemic transformation, i.e. since the beginning of the 1990s.”

Prices in stores – what has increased the most?

In February this year the price of each of the 17 surveyed categories increased, according to the latest analysis. All increases were in double digits. Dairy prices rose the fastest – 30.9 percent. in annual terms, of which the prices of eggs increased the most – by 51.8 percent. By 35.8 percent. the prices of yoghurts also increased, and by 29.3 percent. milk. – This category is worth looking at in the near future. The supply of milk in the world increased, which, coupled with the recently reduced demand, resulted in a reduction in purchase prices. However, this does not necessarily translate into discounts in stores. There may be an increase in the profits of food producers, with unchanged price levels on store shelves – pointed out Orpych.

In second place in the disgraceful ranking was bread, with an average increase of 29.8 percent. year-on-year, while a month ago it was 24.4 percent. – The prices of grain, electricity and gas are directly transferred to the cost of buying bread in the store. This fact will not be changed even by the reduction of gas prices for bakeries from 1 April 2023, introduced by the amendment to the Act on special solutions for the protection of gas fuel consumers in connection with the situation on the gas market. It will be interesting to see further developments in the context of a significant reduction in grain procurement prices, which took place in the second half of January this year. In the long run, this may result in a decrease in the growth dynamics of bread prices – noted the representative of the WSB in Chorzów.

The third place in the ranking was taken by household chemicals with an annual increase of 28 percent, a month ago it was 27.5 percent. The leader in this category are paper towels, which increased by 51.5 percent. year from year.

High increases were also recorded in toilet paper – 48.4 percent. year on year, as well as washing capsules, washing powder and fabric softener – by 43.3%, 33.7% and 33.7%, respectively. and 30.6 percent

– The paper industry has been signaling for a long time that high production costs and shortages of increasingly expensive cellulose will translate into product price increases. Disrupted deliveries of the above-mentioned raw material from China and the need to search for its new sources are the root causes of the current high prices in this category. It is additionally intensified by high prices of wood, energy and fuels as well as rising labor costs – explained Dr. Robert Orpych.

At the forefront of the categories in which the largest price increases were recorded, there are also pet food (increase by 27.3% year on year), cold cuts (25% year on year).

Growth inhibition

On the other hand, the authors of the report pointed out that it inhibits the growth of prices of fat products. They were up 20% in February. year on year, while in January it was 22.6 percent, in December 31.9 percent, and in November 48.8 percent. As noted, the growth dynamics of butter prices has clearly decreased – to 2.5 percent. year on year, and oil to 17.2 percent.

The analysis shows that the decrease in price growth dynamics is also visible in the case of loose products, which in February increased by 21.9 percent. y/y “The highest growth is still generated by sugar – 33.9 percent yoy. But it is far from the increases from, for example, half a year ago, which oscillated around 100 percent yoy,” we read.

Among vegetables and fruits, the largest jumps concern onions, carrots and bananas, which increased in annual terms by 55.4%, 47.3% and 47.3% respectively. and 32.2 percent – Vegetables are currently very expensive, because some of the goods available on the market are imported. And crops in many food-exporting countries have been lost due to bad weather. It is primarily about deliveries from the south of Europe and north of Africa, where the attack of winter caused significant damage. On the other hand, the harvest in Poland in 2022 was relatively good, which had a positive impact on the price level in the previous months – explained Orpych.

On the other hand, among the categories with the least increase in prices year-on-year on average, there are e.g. personal hygiene products – 10.3 percent, sweets and desserts – 12.5 percent, and fish – 17.6 percent.

Main photo source: Shutterstock

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