X-ray of prices in 2018: what went up and what went down in the shopping cart | Economy

X-ray of prices in 2018: what went up and what went down in the shopping cart | Economy



If it did, the ends of a potato omelette would contain the ups and downs of the This year's CPI. Between the limits that mark the rise of 12.4% of the price of potatoes and the fall of 14.3% of the oil, move, in addition to the 3% increase of the onion or 1% of the pans, the almost totality of the 479 products and services that make up the basket with which the INE produces the price index on which so many things depend, from the amount of pensions to the salary increases of the agreements that are linked to the index.

In the absence of data for the month of December, which will be known in mid-January, what follows is a story, organized by groups, of joys and sorrows for most of the pockets, those who buy and those who sell that half a thousand products and services with which the INE measures what we spend since we open our eyes until we go to bed (this year a little more relaxed, as bedding has fallen by 2.9%).

Food and non-alcoholic beverages. On June 8, the maximum temperature in Madrid was 18.3 degrees. Serve this data to account for a meteorological year atypical, especially for a spring cooler and rainier than normal. And that in the field is noticeable. This is what happened with potatoes, which this year accumulate a rise of 12.4%. "The excess of cold and water in April and May, which delayed sowing in Spain, and the heat wave in Europe at the beginning of summer have left a short harvest," sums up Alberto Duque, from COAG.

Also Andrés Góngora, a farmer from Almeria all his life, looks, of course, at the sky to tell the "very atypical season" that explains the rise of fresh fruit (10.8%). "The production has been short, especially at the beginning of summer. The heat came late and missing watermelon and peach, or table grape. " And after the summer, a rare autumn – "we had six degrees in October, and now in December, 22", he says -, which affected the pip fruit (pear and apple) and cut the late peach. And look again at the sky: "That is not cold or hot when he plays is increasingly common, we do not know what to expect."

Proof that it never rains to everyone's taste is oil. With the same spring of thousand waters, the olive harvest was already abundant, and prices, by the clouds in 2017, they started to go ashore. Up to an accumulated fall of 14.3% so far this year. For Góngora, it is explained by the good harvest and the controls that make it no longer sold as extra virgin, more expensive, which it is not. "And also that it is a claim product and supermarkets promote it a lot," he says.

Alcoholic beverages and tobacco. The prolonged drought of 2017 was what gave this game its winner, wine, which is up 9.9% this year. "It was one of the shortest harvests in recent years," explains David Palacios, president of the Spanish Conference of Viticultural Regulatory Councils, "in Spain and throughout Europe." Therefore, the price of the bulk and that of the other categories rose. It adds, in addition, "the collective assumption by the sector" of the challenge of increasing the value of Spanish wine, in particular of those that have a designation of origin that, despite their quality, reach prices below other competitors. That commitment to value "makes prices rise too".

Dress and shoes. A sector this also very affected by the weather. However, this year have been the accessories (belts, scarves, ties, etc.) that have taken La Palma of the basket of clothing, with an increase of (4.7%). In a bad year for the textile trade, which predicts a 1.5% drop in sales, Eduardo Zamácola, president of the Textile, Accessories and Leather Trade Association (Acotex) points out that the complements are usually "whimsical" purchases and they are cheaper products than clothes in general, so "they suffer less discounts and better support a rise".

Christmas meals, in figures

Appetizer. The sausage or ham, according to the INE, have only risen this year by 0.3%, by 1.3% of the cheese. Shellfish does 0.2%.

Main dish. The menu will be cheaper if we opt for the lamb, which has fallen by 2.2%. The fish, on the other hand, has risen by 0.6%.

Dessert. Christmas sweets, such as polvorones, nougat or marzipan, rise to 0.4% by November.

Housing, water, electricity, gas and other fuels. This is what the INE calls this group, which includes almost all those expenses that usually reach the mailbox once a month in the form of an invoice. The receipt of gas, 13.3% more expensive, and that of liquid fuels, which rises 21.8%, have been the most troublesome have caused this year. The rise in oil, obviously, is behind these increases. The good news is that, with the barrel going down, they tend to loosen, and since October prices have plummeted.

Furniture and household items. The most bearish product of household equipment this year has been rugs and carpets, a sector that, according to Eduardo Díaz, president of the Union of Carpet and Carpet MakersFor years, it has faced the "perfect storm" of the irruption of products from China or India, much cheaper, and a change of habits in Spanish households that, added to the crisis, inclines them toward a less durable product and, therefore, less expensive. This year, to all this is added, he says, the "prudence" of the consumer before the signs of deceleration. The sector looks abroad and the professional segment (hotels, etc.) so as not to lose rope.

Health. Few surprises in the cost of health-related expenses. Very moderate increases in medical, hospital and dental services. On the downside, the prescription glasses and contact lenses (-0.3%). Consequence, say sources of the Alain Afflelou chain, of the strong competition between the brands, with more and more points of sale and continuous promotions.

Transport. As in the case of heating fuels, diesel (9.2%) and gasoline (4.9%) of the automotive industry have ridden the year on the back of a barrel of oil, which only shows signs of weakness since October. In fact, both products fell in November in monthly terms and predictably also in December, thus relieving year-on-year increases. However, the OPEC has already agreed to reduce production, the usual response – not always successful – to the price drops.

Oil tickets have not responded to international oil prices, both international (-6.7%) and domestic (-7.5%). "The companies have not passed the oil rises and also, operators have emerged low cost long distance ", explains Rafael Gallego, president of the employers of travel agencies (CEAV).

In a year in which the sale of cars has faced a new emissions regulation, to accelerated decline of diesel and to a good deal of uncertainty, new cars have risen by 1.2%, while the second-hand market drops by 2.8%.

Communications. Every quarter, CNMC data for electronic commerce billing goes up. And much of that trade moves in boxes that manage courier and parcel companies. This transfer has increased by 12.2% until November. From Correos, they attribute it to a mere "adaptation to costs", but they add that they also raise prices for the added services that these companies offer to customers, both sellers and buyers: package tracking, delivery commitments, free return …

On the other side, mobile phones are down 14.7%. How can such a slump be explained in a product that we can not do without? For Alfonso Tomás, CEO of PcComponentes, "the emergence of Chinese brands, with devices with a great value for money" explains the trend. "The mid-range is already at a very affordable price range, between 200 and 300 euros," he says.

Leisure and culture. To a percentage gap are the non-fiction books (+ 3.3%) of all-inclusive vacations, which plummet. Especially the national packages (-15.6%), more than the international ones (-5.5%). The return to the market of Sun and beach competitors such as Turkey, Egypt or Tunisia, with very aggressive prices, as well as the containment of air tickets, have been the icing (negative) for holidays with bracelet, according to the president of CEAV.

Teaching. The price of all educational levels rises slightly. Plus the primary (+ 2%) and less the superior (0.1%).

Restaurants and hotels. Although the tourist package format is in the doldrums, the hotel park continues to increase its profitability indicators. Prices have risen 6.9% until November, says the INE. Juan Molás, president of the hotel confederation CEHAT, points to the price drops during the crisis, of up to 40% or 50% in some cases, to justify the current boost of hotel rates in full boom tourist. He adds, on the other hand, that hoteliers have taken advantage of the pull to reposition the offer, with more select and expensive hotels. "The sector has invested 4 billion in reforms in recent years," he says.

Others. Neither electrical appliances for personal care, nor funeral services, nor jewelry. In the most heterogeneous section of those handled by the INE, the most important increase is that of administrative taxes, 12.2%. They say from the Treasury that a good part is explained by the increase in the rates of the DNI (9%) and the passport (15.3%). If anyone is encouraged to report any increase that considers abusive, certifies the Ministry of Justice that the court fees have not been touched.

The comings and goings of the price of electricity

More than direct current, a graph of the price of electricity this year would be more like a scheme of alternating current, with ripples up and down on a horizontal axis.

Although it started the year down, there was much talk about the prices of light at the end of summer, when they reached annual highs. Lack of rain and wind, rising oil and skyrocketing CO emission rightstwo were cited as causes of that in August and, above all, in September the price of megawatt in the wholesale market reach annual maximum levels, well above the levels of a year earlier.

In fact, the government of Pedro Sánchez, newly installed, was forced to take measures. Approved in October new aid to consumers (the decree extended the potential beneficiaries of the social electric bond and prohibited cutting the light to homes where a child under 16 resides) and eliminated the tax on electricity generation, what taxed electricity production by 7%, giving up the 1,000 million that contributed to the public coffers. It also abolished, for six months, the hydrocarbon tax that is applied in the generation of gas, known as "green cent.

The arrival of autumn brought with it the fall in the price of oil and also the prices of electricity. The year-on-year rate of 13.7% that it marked in September changed to 3.8% in October. It was still up in annual terms, yes, and it did not mark the decline rates at the beginning of the year (-13%), but the alarm went off. In fact, the monthly decline in October followed another in November, to close the first 11 months (in the absence of knowing the data of December), without variation compared to January, at 0.0%, resting just on the horizontal axis .

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