These essential products are driving up the cost of living in Czechia

New cost of living data from the Czech Statistical Office shows the Czech Republic’s inflation woes are getting worse.

 William Nattrass

Written by William Nattrass Published on 11.04.2022 15:35:00 (updated on 11.04.2022) Reading time: 2 minutes

“War inflation” is finally making its effects known on the Czech economy. Inflation data for March released today by the Czech Statistical Office is the first such data to take the first economic impacts of the war in Ukraine into account; and it doesn’t make for pleasant reading.

Year-on-year inflation hit 12.7 percent in Czechia in March. Month-on-month inflation, comparing consumer prices in March with prices the previous month, found a 1.7 percent increase in the cost of living.

Analysts sounded a gloomy note in response to the new figures, suggesting inflation will continue to get worse in the coming months and could top 15 percent this year.

As wages are not growing at anywhere near the same pace as inflation, it's warned that households will feel a significant decline in purchasing power. So which everyday goods are already more expensive, and which can we expect to pay more for in the coming weeks and months?

Paying more at the pump

Price rises already being felt throughout the Czech Republic are for fuels and energy. In March, prices for fuels rose by a whopping 21.7 month-on-month, and 50.6 percent year-on-year.

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"The most significant acceleration in price growth was seen for fuels, which were half as expensive again in March as they were a year ago. For example, Natural 95 petrol sold for an average of about CZK 44.50 per liter at gas stations, while diesel sold for CZK 47 per liter."

Pavla Šedivá, head of Consumer Price Statistics at the Czech Statistical Office

Household bills

Household utilities are becoming much more expensive too. Natural gas bills are higher by an average of 37.7 percent year-on-year, electricity is 24.7 percent pricier, and hot water saw a 13.9-percent yearly price increase.

Meanwhile, actual rent rates in the Czech Republic grew by 4.4 percent year-on-year.

At the store

While paying more for transport and household bills, you can also expect to see a higher total on your supermarket receipts.

Prices of flour have gone up 30.3 percent year-on-year. More widely, bread and cereal products have seen a 1 percent increase in price compared to February, and sharper increases could be coming as the effects of war in Ukraine, known as the “breadbasket of Europe” start to be felt.

EASTER BAKING GETS SPENDY Food items used in traditional Czech Easter recipes have risen in price by 22 percent from 2021 to 2022. The price of semi-coarse flour is up 57 percent to CZK 17.9 this year. According to advertised prices, the average cost of medium-size eggs has also significantly jumped this year, up 39 percent to CZK 31.2 crowns for ten eggs. Prices for sugar and butter are also up more than 30 percent year on year.

Dairy products are also getting much more expensive. UHT semi-skimmed milk is 20.1 percent more expensive in a yearly comparison, potatoes are 21.4 percent pricier, and butter is as much as 31.9 percent more costly.

Many of these price increases are attributable to inflation in the energy and fuel sectors. Higher fuel and energy prices mean higher overheads for farmers, which mean higher costs for end products.

Other notable month-on-month food prices increases were for fruit (2.1 percent), oils and fats (2.8 percent), cheese and curds (1.3 percent). Bucking the trend of price increases, however, were vegetables, which decreased in price by an average of 1.4 percent compared to February.

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