Since the end of 2006, and especially since July 2007, food prices in the EU have been growing at a much faster pace than the the overall inflation, a Eurostat survey points out. The tendency has also been observed in the Eurozone.
In April 2008 food prices in the EU were 7.1% higher than in April 2006. The overall inflation for the period stood at 3.6%. In the Eurozone the percentages are respectively 6.2% and 3.3%.
In March and April 2008 food prices in the EU and in the Eurozone saw the largest increases so far (statistics is recorded since 1996). Food and total inflation rose at a similar pace, ie +31% and +27% for the EU, and +30% and +27% in the Eurozone.
The annual appreciation of foods varies from 3.2% in Portugal to 25.4% in Bulgaria. Out country is followed by Latvia (21.7%), Estonia (18.3%) and Lithuania (18.1%). The slowest appreciation (aside from Portugal) is seen in Holland (5.4%), France (5.5%), Cyprus (5.8%) and Italy (5.9%).
On average, European households spend 14.6% of their budget on food. This percentage varies between the different countries, from 9.5% in Great Britain to 22.9% in Bulgaria, 23.2% in Lithuania and 34.5% in Romania.
The survey studied nine main food groups, among which meat, bread and grain foods, as well as milk, cheese and eggs. Those account for 60% of the component. In April the average price of milk, eggs and cheese rose 14.9% y/y, of bread and grains by 10.7% and of meat by 4.1%.
In April, the y/y appreciation of meat varied from 0.7% in Portugal to 19.1% in Lithuania, that of bread and grains from 6.3% in Holland to 38.4% in Bulgaria, and that of milk, cheese and eggs from 3.4% in Cyprus to 35.4% in Estonia.
Bulgaria is first in terms of appreciation of oil and butter (by 85.8%) and fruits (45.7%).