Easter-related food goes up in price less than general inflation: Rice is main reason for sharp slowdown

The biggest price rises involved vegetables, animal products and imported goods: kale (21.50%), potatoes (18.43%), canned sardines (16.44%), olive oil (15.63%), olives in brine (14.38%) and cod (11.50%).
Economics
07 April 2022
Easter-related food goes up in price less than general inflation: Rice is main reason for sharp slowdown

The average price of food consumed in the Easter period has increased 3.93% in the past year. This is less than general inflation between April 2021 and March of this year, which was 9.18%, according to Fundação Getulio Vargas’ IPC-M index. This is one of the findings of a study just released by FGV’s Brazilian Institute of Economics (FGV IBRE). It also shows that the prices of the main items in Easter Sunday lunch have risen a lot less in the last year than in the preceding year, when the average increase was more than 25%.

The biggest price rises involved vegetables, animal products and imported goods: kale (21.50%), potatoes (18.43%), canned sardines (16.44%), olive oil (15.63%), olives in brine (14.38%) and cod (11.50%). On the other hand, the price of rice fell 12.20% over the last year, and it was the main reason for the sharp slowdown in food inflation. If rice is removed from the list of Easter food, the average price rise would have been 9.79%, slightly higher than IPC-M.

“In 2020 and 2021, we experienced a perfect storm for these food items in particular, caused by weather problems and a drastic currency depreciation, which affected both domestic output and import prices. This year, a monsoon-related problem and the end of Brazil’s widespread drought caused vegetables to drive up inflation, while rice prices have almost fallen back to the same levels of last year,” says Matheus Peçanha, an economist and researcher at FGV IBRE.

He advises consumers to pay attention to prices in the next few days. “Our study doesn’t definitively show the prices of Easter-related items that consumers will find. We only measured what happened to their prices in the last 12 months, up to March of this year. Fresh fish and eggs have gone up 8.33% and 9.89% in price, respectively, and they may rise even more, given their high consumption in the Easter period. In addition, some items not included in IPC’s scope, such as Easter eggs and special Easter breads, are likely to respond to higher demand,” Peçanha says.

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