Consumer price index up 0.8% in Jan and Feb

05 May 2022

The consumer price index has increased in Portugal since the start of the year, with a 0.8% rise between January and February, according to the National Institute of Statistics (INE).

However, the data also shows the trend was heightened in March, rising 3.5% during the month, compared to January.

The biggest increases in food prices were seen in the cost of bread, cereals and meat with a 3.8% rise, oils and fats at 3.8%, fish with a 2.6% rise and the price of vegetables increasing 2.2%.

“In three months, increases of around 3%, 4% is immense”, said Francisca Guedes de Oliveira, economist and professor at the Católica Porto Business School, going on to add that these increases take place in an “ascending” context and in “products of necessity”.

Within the National Institute of Statistics’ basket of products, the price of liquid fuels rose by 22.0% in the first quarter of this year, according to a Portugal News report. De Oliveira also pointed out this trend, taking into account the “transversal way” in which energy products impact everyone.

The economist also signalled the uncertainty stemming from the war in Ukraine and the possible threat of recession.

In addition, professor of business strategy at Porto’s Lusíadas University, Carlos Martins said accelerating inflation will result in people buying less and lead to “a drop in consumption.” With private consumption one of the most important components in the country’s GDP, any declines are significant.

As well as the likely fall in consumption, businesses are facing a rise in the costs of energy and raw materials. To overcome these challenges, firms will need to slash investment or staff costs, which will subsequently impact economic activity or hike prices, which would in turn impact exports, Martins cautioned.