Economics in a picture
The cost of a basket of basic food products increased markedly in the last year, with a large dispersion amongst prices of different varieties of the same product
The price of a basic consumption basket can be computed by combining information on the quantities of food products considered essential for individuals of different ages with information on the respective unit prices. These prices were obtained daily by Banco de Portugal through a webscraping procedure on the online sales platforms of the main food retailers operating in Portugal. Although the products contained in the basket are well specified in terms of their characteristics, different varieties are available at each retailer. This is due to the existence of different ranges and brands, some exclusive to the retailer, which gives rise to a distribution of prices for each product. Thus, it is possible to analyze in terms of the average price or the 10th and 90th percentiles existing in the market at any given time.
In accumulated terms, in the period from October 2021 to August 2022, the average growth was around 15% in all age groups. The value of the basic food consumption basket in euros is also relevant. Considering the average prices for the week ended 31 August 2022, the value of the basic food consumption basket was higher for the group of adolescents (168,80 euros) and lower for children aged two years (95,02 euros). It is also possible to verify that the price of the baskets composed of the varieties of products with the highest prices is about two and a half times higher than the value of the basket composed of the varieties with the lowest prices
For more details see Box 5 “Developments in e-commerce prices of a basket of basic food products” (in Portuguese only), published in the Economic Bulletin of Banco de Portugal, October 2022 (in Portuguese only).
Prepared by João Amador. The analyses, opinions and findings expressed above represent the views of the author and not necessarily those of Banco de Portugal or the Eurosystem.
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