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The shopping basket is no longer the main culprit for rising inflation in Malaga
Economy

The shopping basket is no longer the main culprit for rising inflation in Malaga

Food and drink prices rose by 3.4% in May across the province, one point less than in the rest of Spain

Cristina Vallejo

Malaga

Friday, 14 June 2024, 11:12

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The latest data on prices published by Spain's INE National Statistics Institute on Thursday this week reached a significant milestone concerning food prices in Malaga province. For the first time since March 2022 food prices in Malaga are now rising less than general inflation and less than the general CPI (Consumer Price Index), i.e. the average of all goods and services used as the yardstick to measure how the cost of living is going within the Spanish economy.

Thus, while inflation (the prices of all goods and services) recorded an increase of 3.6% in May for Malaga province, the rise experienced in food and non-alcoholic beverages was limited to 3.4%. This acceleration in inflation is identical to that recorded in Spain as a whole with respect to the previous month when the CPI rose at a rate of 3.3%. So, filling the supermarket trolley has risen less than the general CPI. It would seem that the shopping basket has ceased to play the leading role in the general increase in prices. However, this phenomenon is confined to Malaga alone because in Spain, while the general index stands at 3.6%, food prices increased by 4.4%. Similarly across Andalucía, if the CPI is rising at 3.5% then the section comprising food and non-alcoholic beverages is rising at a rate of 4.1%.

3.4% shopping basket price rise in Malaga

This is the slowest rate of increase since November 2021. In Spain as a whole, the increase is 4.4%.

These figures say it all: while the shopping basket is becoming more expensive in Malaga, it is doing so at a slower rate than for the rest of Spain. This has been happening since at least November 2023, that's six consecutive months.

Within Andalucía, Malaga is the province where the shopping basket cost has risen the least. For Cordoba it has risen the most - an increase of 5.4%. However, Malaga is not the province where inflation is rising the least. That position is held by Cadiz (3.2%).

In Malaga food prices have not risen less than the general CPI since March 2022 when the shopping basket rose at a rate of 7.8% and CPI rose by 10.1%. When headline inflation fell to 2.6% in February 2024, food prices were still rising at 4.2%. Furthermore, when in June 2023 the CPI was at the same 2.6%, the shopping basket was still registering increases of 10.3%.

Another fact to bear in mind is that May's rise in food prices is the lowest since November 2021 when it stood at the same 3.4%. This follows around 18 months of rising prices at rates of over 10% - at their worst the rise was 18.7% in February 2023.

Key players on inflation? Tourism, water and electricity

If the shopping basket is no longer driving up inflation in Malaga, what are the goods and services that are rising the most for the province? In May, the highest increase was recorded for housing and its services (water, electricity and gas) - 5.8%. This was due mainly due to the rise in electricity prices - a figure identical to that experienced by restaurant and hotel prices. For its part, transport rose by 4.6% year-on-year due to the rise in fuel prices. Meanwhile alcoholic beverages and tobacco increased their prices by 4.1%, and leisure and culture rose by 3.9%.

It is not all bad news: in May there were some goods that became cheaper than a year earlier. On the one hand, clothing and footwear fell by 1.6% year-on-year, while furniture and household goods fell by 0.7%. These price drops were not observed in Spain as a whole, seeing increases of 0.8% and 0.6% respectively. It seems that the goods and services most dependent on the domestic market have slackened compared with those where foreign demand, due mostly to tourism, plays a greater role.

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