Malta, food pushing up inflation above the EU and Eurozone average rate

LA VALLETTA (ITALPRESS/MNAa) – High prices of food and non-alcoholic beverages kept the inflation in Malta above the EU and Eurozone average rate.
Inflation in Malta was 3.7 per cent in December, down from 3.9 per cent in November, in contrast to the average Euro area inflation that was 2.9% in December, up from 2.4% in November. European Union annual inflation was 3.4% in December, up from 3.1% in November. A year earlier, the rate was 10.4%. Denmark, Italy, and Belgium recorded the lowest annual inflation rates at 0.4% and 0.5%, respectively, while Czechia, Romania, and Slovakia reported the highest rates at 7.6%, 7.0%, and 6.6%. Services, food, alcohol & tobacco, non-energy industrial goods, and energy were identified as the major contributors to the annual euro area inflation rate. The food and non-alcoholic beverages index in Malta contributed significantly with an increase of 1.69 percentage points.
The highest annual inflation rates in December 2023 were registered in the food and non-alcoholic beverages category (9.5%) and education (5.6%).
This increase was largely attributed to high prices of vegetables. The restaurants and hotels index (+0.64 percentage points) and the housing, water, electricity, gas, and other fuels Index (+0.53 percentage points) followed suit, primarily due to higher prices of restaurant services and rents.
The Maltese government is considering direct intervention through price control on essential food items to counter inflation.
However, the Malta Chamber of Commerce urged the government to reconsider its decision. The government’s negotiations with retailers to cut prices for staple grocery products have faced criticism, with concerns raised about potential negative impacts on competition and consumer choice.
However, the Maltese Prime Minister Robert Abela insisted on the ongoing efforts to stabilise food prices and promising additional measures to help the public cope with the cost of living.
-foto Agenzia Fotogramma –

Source: medNews