Inflation reaches record highs at one of the year's peak consumption periods

High prices for Christmas shoppers.

16-12-2021Amalia Estabén

The Balearics have had record price increases for the last two months and in November, less than a month before Christmas, the Consumer Price Index (CPI) increased up to 5.7% in the Balearic Islands compared to the same period last year. This is the data published yesterday by the National Institute of Statistics (INE), according to which the national average increase stood at 5.5%. The rise in the CPI in November is the highest since the early nineties, both in the Balearic Islands and in the rest of Spain.

The CPI went negative in April 2020, after the outbreak of the pandemic. It maintained this trend until the beginning of this year, but did not begin the big climb until the middle of the year, coinciding with the reactivation of economic activity. Although it is true that higher demand and supply issues have made goods and services more expensive, increases in energy prices have been decisive. As a result, core inflation - which does not take into account energy and fresh food prices - is around 1.7%.

Although the sixth wave of COVID-19 infections is also in full swing, this year there are no restrictions as in the previous year, so household spending will be higher.

By products, electricity, gas and other fuels, lead the price increase, up to 42.3% compared to last year. It is worth remembering that the price of electricity in the free market is at an all-time high. Government measures to alleviate this impact have been insufficient.

Last month, the price of transport increased by up to 12.10% year-on-year, caused by the rise in fuel prices. Food, in general terms, increased by 3.6 % compared to a year earlier and by 0.8 % compared to October. Within this group, however, there are some products whose cost has skyrocketed. This is the case of oil, which has risen by 22.8%. The price of fresh and frozen fish, one of the most demanded products at this time of the year, is 6.2% higher than a year ago, while fresh fruit is 5.3% more expensive. Eggs (8%), milk (4%) and coffee (4.9%) are other foods that also increase in price.

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