Sunday, December 10

Inflation, product by product: this is how electricity, supermarkets, beer or gasoline have risen

A year ago, in July 2021, you spent 1,000 euros to cover all your needs: pay the rent, bills, go out to dinner one or two days, go to the supermarket and buy some clothes. If this year you had bought the same products, gone to the same restaurants and purchased the same items, you would have paid 1,108 euros, according to data from the National Institute of Statistics (INE). This difference (10.8% more) is what has changed, on average, the price level of consumer goods and services in Spain in the last year, measured according to the Consumer Price Index (CPI).

What does this mean? That the prices of beer, electricity or avocados have risen equally? No, this is an overall average of how much the cost of living has risen over that period. This means that there are services or products that may have become much more expensive, others that have risen in price a little or that some items are now cheaper than last year.

For example, in the following graph you can see how much the main spending groups have risen (on average) during the price crisis last year according to their weight in our monthly shopping basket.

What has risen more in the last year?

Variation in the price of each group of products and services in of
about of . The width of the bars ↨ adjusted to the proportion it represents of total spending

Source: INE

As you have seen, electricity and gas are, by far, what have risen the most in the price crisis of the last year. Today, the energy bill is 50% more expensive than in July 2021. It must be taken into account that in the case of the electricity bill, the item that has skyrocketed the most, according to the INE, this body only includes households with the regulated tariff (PVPC) of the electricity market, which account for 35% of low-voltage supplies (households and also some SMEs). This methodology distorts the increase in the price of electricity in the CPI since it does not take into account free market contracts, where the rate has not risen as much.

Within this group, those that have risen the most are liquid fuels, whose price has almost doubled in one year. This includes diesel and fuel oil for domestic use. However, the inflation crisis has also affected some of the most basic goods and products such as oil, milk, bread or cereals. To check which products and services have become more expensive and cheaper during the crisis, has analyzed the monthly CPI data in more than 200 different products between January 2019 and July 2022.

In the following graph you can see how the price levels of the main spending groups (around 100 different ones) have evolved in the last three and a half years.

The evolution of the price index of each product during the pandemic

Evolution of the percentage variation of the CPI. Click on the tab to change the month with which to compare the evolution of prices

We know that the electricity bill, filling the deposit or turning on the heating have risen a lot in the last year. But how much has the breakfast we eat every morning risen? Going out to dinner at a restaurant, is it more expensive than a year ago? Does it cost the same today to have a drink at the bar downstairs?

To make our own index, we calculate how the prices of everyday services and products have risen in the last year. The calculation is an approximation of the price increase from applying the variation of the CPI to the average prices of different products that make up the recipes or average costs of each service, according to the latest available data. See for yourself in the following graph:

Source: Own elaboration with data from the INE, Datamarkt, Ministry for the Ecological Transition, Red Eléctrica de España, among others

The increase in the cost of living has been noted in dozens of products due to the drag effect of the energy bill and the war in Ukraine. For example, essential products such as butter, flour and eggs have risen more than 20% in one year. Similar percentage to that of many foods such as milk, fruit or oil.

In addition to grocery products, also paper products are more expensive than a year ago. On the other hand, those that have dropped in price are computers and mobile phones.

The INE breaks down the price increase into more than 200 products and services that make up our shopping basket. In the following graph you can see the evolution of the prices in each of them. Click the button to see more products.

How has the price of each product gone up and down in the last three years?

Evolution of the price of each product or service compared to what was in

Source: INE

INE data indicate that, in the shopping basket, up to 59 products have risen by more than 10% in price during the last 12 months. In addition to electricity and fuel, with prices skyrocketing due to the consequences of the war in Ukraine, pasta has risen 32%, hotels, hostels and pensions, 34%, and bank commissions 11%.

It is not the only thing that has risen during the crisis. Also the simple gesture of going to buy a newspaper at the newsstand or subscribing to a digital newspaper costs an average of 4% more than a year ago. On the other hand, we have some services and products that have barely become more expensive and have even fallen in price in the last 12 months, such as public car parks, tolls or the data rate of your mobile company.

The following table groups the increase (or decrease) in prices of each of the 200 subclasses of products that the INE analyzes to calculate the price level of our shopping basket.

What has risen more in price in the last year? Compare each product and service

Year-on-year variation in the price of each subclass (product or service) of the Consumer Price Indicator (CPI) in the last year

What has gone up a lot in price

What is more expensive than a year ago

Slightly more expensive than in 2021

It has hardly gone up or down in price

cheaper than last year