Statistical Office data on food and beverage price rises are not misleading


Original article (in Slovenian) was published on 16/05/2022

Slovenian Statistical Office monitors the inflation of consumer prices, including prices of food and non-alcoholic beverages, monthly.

On 6 May, the president of the Slovenian Chamber of Commerce, Marija Lah, told the 24UR Zvečer news program that prices of food and non-alcoholic beverages had risen by 2.6% in April and by 6.8% in the first four months of the year compared to the same period last year. She explained that she was citing data from the Statistical Office of the Republic of Slovenia (SURS). In response, the president of the Transport Section at the Chamber of Craft and Small Business of Slovenia, Peter Pišek, said, “You are being misled.”

According to SURS, the month-over-month inflation of food and non-alcoholic beverage prices, i. e. the change in retail prices, stood at 2.7% in April. Compared to the same period last year, the price inflation for these products ran at 6.8% in the first four months of this year. 

The month-over-month inflation of consumer prices, which also include petrol and electricity, stood at 2.6%. Compared to the same period last year, consumer price inflation in the first four months of 2022 reached 6.2%.

SURS measures consumer price inflation by using the consumer price index, which is derived from changes in the retail prices of goods and services. The index is calculated using data from the first two full weeks of the current month.

The price trends for food, beverages, and tobacco are based on data provided weekly by the largest retailers in the Slovenian market, which account for 75% of the market share for food and non-alcoholic beverages and almost 70% of the market share for alcoholic beverages and tobacco.

SURS told Oštro that for each product group only prices of the products that sold best in the first two weeks of the month are taken into account.  

They added that consumer price inflation turned negative in March because the emergency act adopted to mitigate the impact of the high energy prices reduced the prices of electricity, which as a result had an effect on the month-over-month inflation. “This, however, does not mean that prices of food didn’t rise last month.”

In one year, the prices of flour and other grain products rose by 24.4%, the prices of meat by 10%, the prices of eggs by 13.1%, and the prices of cooking oil by 43.5%.

Pišek did not respond to a request for comment on Oštro’s findings. 

Peter Pišek’s claim that SURS’s data on food and beverage price rises are misleading is false.