Many food items are much more expensive now. / marcos álvarez

Food prices in Malaga have risen by 17.5% in past year, the highest jump in two decades

This is higher than the national average and means the province is one of the places in Spain where prices have risen the most

JAVIER LÓPEZ MALAGA.

Figures issued by Spain's National Institute of Statistics on Tuesday, 15 November, show that food prices in Malaga province have risen more in the past year than in any other since records began two decades ago.

The Consumer Price Index for October shows that inflation on food prices was 17.5% in the province in 12 months, which is considerably higher than the national average (15.8%) and means that Malaga is one of the parts of the country where food prices have increased the most.

In addition, the price of soft drinks has risen by 9.7% and alcoholic drinks by 7.7%.

The cost of sugar has risen the most in the past year, by 40.3%, followed by eggs (26%), pulses and fresh vegetables (25.7%), vegetable oils (24.9%) and milk (24.2%). A list of 20 basic food items analysed by the INE shows an increase of more than 10% in the past 12 months.

Electricity and gas prices have fallen

Some consolation may be found in the fact that the cost of electricity and gas in Malaga has fallen by 6.9% in the past year, but that is practically the only good news, especially when comparing price increases of other items in the province with the national average.

For example, clothing, which is 4.6% more expensive in Malaga than it was a year ago, whereas nationally the increase has been 0.9%. Restaurant prices too, have gone up by 9.8% compared with 7.1% in Spain as a whole.

The core inflation rate is also concerning families and companies: this shows the rate of inflation without food and energy products being taken into account as these items are considered more volatile and sensitive to external factors, such as the war in Ukraine. Without including those, prices have risen in Spain by 6.2% in the past year.

Now it remains to be seen whether prices can be ‘cooled down’ without freezing the purchasing power of households and businesses. This appears to be the time for good tightrope walkers, in fact.