ECONOMY

As inflation rises, how much more are you paying for your groceries?

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SINGAPORE: You may have noticed recently that your grocery bills have gone up.

Singapore’s core inflation rate, which measures the average change in prices for things like food, electricity and gas, rose 2.4 per cent year-on-year in January – the highest increase in more than nine years. For food alone, the inflation rate that month was 2.6 per cent.

But inflation figures only tell part of the story – how much exactly have the prices of your everyday groceries gone up?

To find out, CNA compared the current prices of some essential goods from several supermarkets with that of a year ago.

Avid bakers and egg lovers might have felt the pinch more than most – for fresh produce, eggs saw the biggest price increase.

Checks by CNA showed that the price of a pack of 30 Pasar fresh eggs was S$6.15 at NTUC FairPrice in February, up from S$4.75 in the same month in 2021.

Fresh eggs from Sheng Siong saw a similar increase from S$4.65 for 30 eggs in February 2021 to S$6.15 in the same month this year.

Supermarkets confirmed that the egg prices have risen across the board due to production, labor costs and freight, which have been exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic.

DFI retail group, which manages the Cold Storage and Giant supermarkets, said egg prices have risen by around a fifth to a quarter since last year.

FairPrice, Singapore’s largest supermarket chain, also said that prices have increased by about 10 per cent compared to 2021, depending on the size of the pack, weight and country of origin of the eggs.

Prices of fresh vegetables have also increased, although less drastically.

Comparing February 2021 with February 2022 prices, the price of baby cai xin (200g) and carrots (900g) from China rose by 10 cents and 5 cents respectively. Watercress (200g), round spinach (250g) and tomatoes (500-600g) from Malaysia rose by between 10 and 35 cents.

Spring onions (100g) from Thailand now cost 10 cents more, and the price of local soya bean sprouts (200g) 15 cents more.

But prices of some other essentials remain unchanged – CNA’s comparisons of products such as frozen chicken and pork, some brands of fresh milk and white bread showed that prices have not increased from a year ago.

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