Food prices in Spain posted a record rise in October, keeping the cost of living painfully high even as lower energy costs spurred a drop in inflation, official data published recently showed.
Overall food prices climbed 15.4 per cent from a year earlier, the biggest increase since the statistical series began in January 1994, according to the National Statistics Institute. The cost of fresh vegetables jumped by 25.7 per cent on an annual basis, eggs were up 25.5 per cent, milk increased 25 percent and the price of grains rose 22.1 per cent. Food prices were up 2.3 per cent over the previous month.
Globally food prices have risen since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in February reduced grain shipments from one of the world’s top suppliers.
An extreme drought and consecutive heatwaves in Spain this year have also slashed agricultural output in the country, a leading producer of fruit and vegetables in the European Union.
The overall inflation rate slowed to 7.3 per cent in October, down from 8.9 per cent in September and moving further away from a 38-year high of 10.8 per cent in July.
This was due to a drop in the price of electricity, which fell 22.5 per cent over the previous month, and “to a lesser extent” a 6.4 per cent fall in the cost of gas, the statistics institute said.
Economy Minister Nadia Calvino predicted inflation would remain at its current level until the end of the year, and would then “resume its downward path in 2023” mirroring a drop in global energy prices.
The surging cost of food in Spain has hit all households with some common food items increasing by much more than just a few cents. Especially hard-hit are low-income consumers who spend a bigger chunk of their household budgets on groceries. Food banks have reported a surge in demand this year as the price of groceries has risen.