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Rising food prices in the Czech Republic are among the highest in Europe

Eurostat says that domestic prices in the Czech Republic are rising at the fourth highest rate after the three Baltic states. If we don’t consider imported inflation, i.e., energy and food prices, which have been most affected by the war in Ukraine, it also outpaces the Baltic countries. Even in restaurants, hotels, shoe and clothing stores, gardening, pet care, and technology, merchants have raised prices by ten to twenty percent on average compared to a year ago.

Entrepreneurs explain this increase in prices of goods and services by the need to deal with rising energy bills, but experts say this is not a sufficient explanation. According to Josef Vlášek of the Czech Statistical Office, some companies are trying to compensate for losses due to closures during the coronavirus pandemic.

According to the Czech Statistical Office (CSO), farmers’ prices, which usually anticipate consumer prices, increased 42.5 percent in June and continue to rise, even as fuel and some commodity costs on world markets have fallen in recent weeks. Alcohol and tobacco, on the other hand, grew 14.3 percent year-on-year in June, compared with an EU-wide average of 9.9 percent and less than 9 percent in the euro zone.

However, the main problem is food prices. On average, they grow to the sixth highest in Europe, while some goods remain more or less at pre-crisis levels. The cause is not the lack of raw materials, because domestic farmers and food producers’ activity is based on the export of grains or the production of dairy products, but the price paid by importers abroad, which is the same as that applied to the domestic market. The increase in prices abroad thus mirrors the increase in the Czech Republic.

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