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Food inflation rampant

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Cost-of-living continued to hike in September, with consumers receiving the largest shock in their groceries, as fresh produce prices increased 45.8%, compared to last year when they receded 17.8%.

The second biggest acceleration in inflation was lamb and goat meat, with the rise in September reaching 29% year-on-year, compared to a 4.3% rise in 2022.

According to data released by the statistical services, the consumer price index placed inflation at 4% in September, compared to 2.6% in August and 8.7% in September 2022.

Foodstuff inflation remains high and reached 9.5% in September year-on-year, up from 7.4% in 2022 to 2021 and 1.6% in 2021 to 2020.

The rise in the cost of living, which continues unabated, has mobilised the trade unions, which called on the government to introduce a comprehensive anti-inflationary policy to support low-income households and other vulnerable groups.

Finance Minister Makis Keravnos, under the burden of social and political pressures, after submitting the state’s 2024 budget to the House, said the government will announce measures this month.

According to CyStat, the price of beef and veal rose 7.6% in September, following a yoy increase of 21.9% last year.

The price of pork rose 8% compared to a rise of 17.2% last year, and yoghurt by 7.8% compared to a rise of 7% last year.

The cost of sugar increased by 25.7% in September, compared to a rise of 45.5% in 2022.

Cheese prices increased on average by 13.3% from 9.3% last year.

The price of olive oil increased 11.2% from 12.7%.

Soft drinks were 11.4% more expensive in September than last year.

Mineral water prices rose 13.6%, compared to 14.7% last year and a 1.1% decrease in 2021.

The price of beer increased by 4.9% from a 3.2% increase in 2022.

The cost of wine rose 7.2%, compared to another 2.8% increase in 2022 and a 4% price drop in 2021.

On a positive note, according to the data, electricity bills decreased by 2.5% in September on a yoy basis.

In 2022, however, electricity prices increased by 59.2%.

According to the EAC, the new electricity bills sent include an increase of about 3% per kilowatt hour compared to the previous two months.

Potatoes are the product category whose price decreased by 21.9% in September, compared to an increase of 90.5% last year.

The price of fresh whole milk and low-fat milk (category with zero VAT) decreased by 3.7% and 4%, respectively, compared to September 2022 prices.

Also, the price of poultry fell 0.7% in September, compared to a rise of 22% last year.