“I haven’t bought any more eggs, even though a house needs a lot,” says a Cuban mother in line at the Amistad market in Central Havana, hoping to bring chicken home this Saturday.
And it is that the prices have gone from increase to increase “after the ordering”, affirms this habanera. “The carton of eggs, which is a basic thing in a house, started at 300 pesos, then it kept going up, now they sell the carton of eggs for 900 pesos.”
Other foods whose price “rose to the stratosphere,” he adds, are chicken, milk and oil. “The 10-pound package of chicken, which in the past I bought for 800 pesos, now I buy for 1,200 pesos and up to 2,000.”
The economist Elías Amor points out that food prices in the month of May 2022 alone have risen “nothing more and nothing less than 6.22%
According to the economist Elías Amor, this is due to the fact that inflation is concentrated in the component of food and non-alcoholic beverages, “with an interannual rate of 43.27%, the highest in the index.”
In his blog, Cubaeconomy, Amor points out that food prices in the month of May 2022 alone have risen “no more and no less than 6.22%, doubling that of the entire economy, and the rate accumulated since January 2022 reached 16.61%”.
The Consumer Price Index (CPI) registered an increase of 26.16% in the last twelve months and 10.35% since January. “These are very negative data, which have gotten worse, and which significantly describe the lack of control of prices that affects the economy,” adds the Cuban economist based in Spain.
The increase in the CPI continues in the same conditions as in April, according to explanations by economist Pablo Monreal: 3.54% then and in May it went to 3.55% due to the increase in food prices.
Monreal adds that the increase in food prices is much higher than general inflation: “In May, the increase in food prices ‘explained’ 79.24% of total inflation,” says the Cuban economist, who shares data from the National Office of Statistics and Information on the foods with the greatest effect on the monthly variation, including pork (4.17), white cheese (18.11), ham (9.99), and eggs from hen (2.22).
For his part, Elías Amor points out that the consequence is that Cubans “continue to lose the purchasing power of their salaries and pensions in pesos.” And what is foreseeable is that the national currency will continue to depreciate against currencies such as the dollar or the euro.
Given this, he sees no possibility of improvement in Cuban pockets that adds to the situation of public transport, which this week has been reduced in the streets of Havana. “This means that Cubans are trapped in an inflationary spiral, the way out of which is complicated and unknown.” And he warns that inflation could be above 30% by the end of this year, one more step towards the cliff for Cuba.
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