Cyprus shoppers stick to essentials

As the prices of supermarkets and petrol pumps rise, retailers say that Cyprus consumers are changing their shopping habits and limiting their spending to necessities.

In May, Cyprus had the highest inflation rate in 40 years, equivalent to 9.1% registered in February 1982, according to the Statistics Bureau.

The highest inflation rate that Cyprus endured was 10.8% in 1981.

The news came when the European Union announced a series of new sanctions against Russia for its invasion of Ukraine earlier this week, including a 90% ban on Russia’s oil exports rubber-stamped by Brussels. rice field.

Inflation in May surged from 8.8% in April and 7.13% in March to 9.1%.

The biggest price fluctuations are electricity (+ 40.9%), oil (+ 37%), and Agricultural products (+ 10.9%).

Soaring prices have made consumers more cautious when heading to supermarkets, and retailers are also reporting a declining trend in sales.

In a comment to Financial Miller, Andreas Haziadamou, Secretary-General of the Pansea Prian Supermarket Association, said supermarkets see customers stop by more often, but have smaller baskets.

“The supermarket sector is the only sector with smooth competition.

“We see people offering brochures and shopping lists that include products sold at discounted prices.

“In supermarkets where people come to buy essentials and groceries, we have almost witnessed people booked for the overall decline in consumer sentiment,” said Hadjia damou.

He said, “It’s normal for them to be more reluctant to buy extra items that aren’t on their shopping list” when they go shopping right after they stop at a gas station for fuel. ..

Marios Antonio, secretary general of the Cyprus Retailers Association, said retailers have noticed that their homes do not buy new clothes or anything else. Luxury goods Like electronics.

“This is reminiscent of the post-crisis era of 2013, but it’s not that consumers have significantly reduced their grocery shopping,” says Antonio.

“The bailout package imposed by international lenders had an expiration date.

“Unfortunately, today’s crisis, completely caused by external factors, mainly due to the war in Ukraine, has no expiration date.

“I don’t know when and how this crisis will end.”

The decline in demand for consumer goods is also highlighted by data recently released by the Statistics Service.

The April retail sales index was down 1.9% year-on-year. The decrease in March was 1.1%.

Regarding the government’s announcement of living cost measures, Mr Antonio said the European Commission should adopt a single policy for all member states.

“I personally believe that government measures target vulnerable groups, but I also hope to reduce VAT on basic consumer goods such as milk, bread, diapers and toilet paper.”

In a comment to Financial Miller, chairman of the Cyprus Consumer Union and Quality of Life, Lucas Aristodemow said fuel companies are pushing prices unreasonably.

He said households are avoiding filling cars, “many people will go to the pump for only 5 or 10 euros in their hands.”

Aristodemou believes that fuel companies are encouraged by the government by closing their eyes on their “cartels.”

Petrolina raised prices again on Friday, adding 9 cents per liter to 95 octane petrol, 8 cents to 98 octane petrol and 6 cents to diesel.

According to the Consumer Protection Agency of the Ministry of Commerce, the average price of 95 octane gasoline on Friday was 1.747 euros per liter, 98 octane was 1.799 euros and diesel was 1.83 euros.

Cypriots continued to park their cars longer in April and reduced fuel consumption in March.

About 23,753 tons of unleaded gasoline Cyprus vehicle April recorded a 5.1% decrease compared to the previous month’s 24,969 tonnes.

Approximately 20,297 tonnes of diesel fuel were sold in April, a 12.5% ​​decrease, compared to 23,206 tonnes in April 2021.

April diesel fuel sales were down 6.92% compared to March’s consumption of 21,806 tonnes.

In response to rising prices and inflation, the government has decided to keep the sales tax cut on fuel until August.

Last week, gas station owners warned that Cyprus drivers were being financially hit as pump prices reached € 2 per liter and consumer groups were screaming for profit. ..





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