Prices are going up, the inflation rate is rising, as is the shopping volume. This is, in short, the situation in which shoppers in Serbia find themselves today.
Despite the epidemiological situation and the restrictive health measures, consumption habits in the first half of the year are similar to those of the same period last year, even if with the significant rise in prices of some products.
According to current data from the State Statistical Office (RZS) on retail trade, for the first half of this year, the results are as follows.
Compared to the average of 2019, there was a significant decline in shopping volume in April, followed by better results in the following two months. However, the long-term trend was slightly up during the first half of this year and was even higher than last year’s average despite a 4.9% increase in current prices and 5.6% in constant prices.
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The second quarter of 2020, as well as the previous ones, show that people in Serbia buy mostly food and alcoholic beverages (38%), followed by fuel (14.1%) and other non-food products. Then there are: home products, pharmaceuticals, cosmetics and toiletries, tobacco, information and communication equipment, while products related to culture and leisure are at the bottom of the list.
If we observe the fluctuation of prices month-on-month and compare them with the same periods of the previous year, the data show that the annual inflation rate was higher at the beginning of the year, as it was 2% in January. It then fell until April, when it reached 0.6%, before starting to rise again and reaching 1.6% in June. This was mainly due to growing prices of food, soft drinks and tobacco, as well as housing, water, electricity, gas and other fuels.
In the total food expenditure, the price of vegetables during the second quarter was the only deflationary element, with the prices of potatoes, onions and cabbage falling the most. On the other hand, the growth in fruit prices remained the most inflationary element with the prices of apples, lemons and oranges growing the most.
In addition, pork has become more expensive, while the price of beef fell. Price of tobacco products also grew, by a total of 7.3%.
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