- The impact of the zero VAT rate measure on prices and inflation
- Categories with the most significant price decreases and increases
- The need for consumers to conduct market research before making purchases.
What is the purpose and findings of the October 2023 Observatory of Prices report by the Ministry of Energy, Commerce, and Industry’s Consumer Protection Service?
The October 2023 Observatory of Prices report aims to provide a comparative analysis of market prices across retail platforms to assist consumers in making informed decisions. Data indicate that while inflation continues to rise, reaching around 4%, prices in 26 out of the 45 monitored categories have decreased. The report also reveals the positive effect of the zero VAT rate measure on prices and inflation. However, consumers are encouraged to conduct substantial market research before making any purchases.
The Ministry of Energy, Commerce, and Industry’s Consumer Protection Service has recently released the Observatory of Consumer Product Prices for September 2023.
Purpose of the Observatory
The primary objective of the Observatory is to generate a comparative reflection of market prices across all retail platforms. This includes not only chain supermarkets but also standalone retail stores, bakeries, pastry shops, kiosks, and similar outlets.
The Observatory studies the average weighted price of about 250 fundamental consumer items. These items range from food to other products, all based on their quantities and prices per day throughout the month.
The data compiled in the Observatory is collected from nearly 400 retail stores nationwide. The aim is to present a comprehensive view of the consumer market in terms of prices, which can assist consumers in making informed decisions.
Inflation Trends: A Snapshot
The Observatory’s findings for September 2023 indicate that although inflation continues its upward trajectory from previous months, some prices have decreased. Inflation reached around 4%, escalating from 2.6% in August and 1.5% in July. Interestingly, food inflation remained static at a high of 9.13% from January to September.
Despite these inflationary trends, prices in 26 out of the 45 monitored categories have shown a decrease. This price moderation is largely reflected in the Statistical Service’s records for food prices in September, which show an increase of only 0.86% as opposed to 1.91% in the preceding month. This is attributed to the moderation of price increases for agricultural goods.
Price Indices: Detailed View
The price indices table for September provides an in-depth view of the price trends across product categories. Of the 45 categories of basic products studied:
26 categories saw a decrease, with the most substantial being toilet paper, which saw an 18.3% decrease. The other notable categories include baby diapers, fresh meat, frozen fish fillets/pre-fried, Cypriot coffee, tomato juice/puree, pasta, eggs, and sanitary pads, all seeing a decline in prices ranging from 2% to 3.8%.
The remaining categories recorded significant price increases. These include grass, frozen mollusks and crustaceans, fresh and frozen fish, LPG cylinder, biscuits, and frozen breaded meat, with price increases ranging from 2.4% to 17.5%.
Zero VAT Rate Measure: Impact
The Consumer Protection Service is consistently conducting intense inspections to ascertain the implementation of the zero VAT rate measure. This measure has been enforced on seven product categories in its first phase, and four new categories have been added in the following phase.
The inspections have been carried out at 58 sales points in nine different supermarkets nationwide. The current assessment, based on these inspections, reveals a positive effect on prices and inflation. It has been noted that around 77% of the products have retained their prices at the same level as on May 5, when the zero/reduced VAT rate measure was introduced.
Price Observatories: Consumer Guidance
The Consumer Protection Service stresses that the Price Observatories are solely prepared to inform consumers. They do not serve as advice or specify certain points of sale or products to consumers.
There is also a noteworthy emphasis on the qualitative differences in some products that cannot be defined by the Observatory. Hence, the Service strongly encourages consumers to conduct a substantial market research before making any purchases, considering the results of this specific Observatory.
The Observatories offer insights into:
– Lower, higher, and average weighted price per product
– Price comparison between September 2023 and August 2023
– Variation in prices per product
– Price indices
The October 2023 Observatory of Prices report by the Ministry of Energy, Commerce, and Industry’s Consumer Protection Service is a report that compares prices of different products across retail platforms. It found that while inflation is increasing, prices in 26 out of 45 categories have actually decreased. The report also mentions the positive impact of a zero VAT rate on prices and inflation. However, consumers are advised to do their own research before making purchases. The report provides detailed information on price trends for different product categories.