Inflation has of course risen worldwide, but the increase in prices is quite different across countries.
The Hungarian TV channel RTL reported on how much prices have risen in other countries compared to Hungarian inflation. The staff contacted Hungarians living in Germany, Italy, Scotland, the United States and Mexico.
László Mándity, who has been living in Germany for 7 years, earns around EUR 2,000 a month. He also pays rent, but says that even now, during the economic crisis, he is managing to make ends meet without having to cut back on costs. He says that when he visited Hungary recently, he was shocked by the price of food. In Germany, he has not seen such drastic price differences since the crisis started. In Hungary, the price of the Hungarian Pick salami surprised him the most. While the same product is HUF 2,254 (EUR 5.81) in Germany, it is around HUF 5,000 (EUR 12.88) in Hungary. In addition, the report says that other foods’ prices are also not that high in Germany compared to Hungary. This is not that surprising, given that German food inflation was 20.7 percent last December, half the rate in Hungary.
Kati Bene, who lives in Italy, says she feels the price rises and is therefore more careful about how much she spends. But she says the situation is not as bad in Italy as it is in Hungary.
RTL highlights the price of Italian pasta as an illustration of prices. While one of the cheapest pasta in Italy costs the equivalent of HUF 277 (EUR 0.71), in Hungarian shops, customers have to pay twice as much. While food inflation was 3.6 percent in January last year, it had risen to 13.3 percent by December.
Living in Scotland, Zsuzsi works as an assistant, while her husband delivers pizzas, and they have 3 children. Although she says they still do not have to save much, they are aware of the price changes. However, she stresses that the social safety net there is much stronger than in Hungary and that there are even more job opportunities than before. In the UK, food inflation rose from 4.8 percent in January last year to 17 percent in December.
Food inflation in the US was 6.7 percent last January. This compares to a very small increase of 10.4 percent in December. Nevertheless, Mariann, who lives in Las Vegas, is feeling the price increase. According to her, while she used to spend USD 80-120 a week on groceries in previous years, she now spends around USD 180 a week.
In Mexico, food inflation rose from 12 percent last January to just 12.7 percent in December. The price of basic food items costs about the same as in Hungary. But restaurant prices are surprisingly low.
According to Balázs Sümegi, an economic expert interviewed by RTL, it is unlikely that we will pay less for food this year. Unfortunately, he says, people will have to get used to the fact that the prices of a year or two ago will not return.
About Italy and Germany, I travel there often and can confirm the price differences on everything from pasta to butter to milk and mayonaise. The odd thing is that products produced in Hungary, like Pick sausage and Magyar butter are more than the imports even here. Something is not right about the pricing in Hungary where the “official” inflation is 20%, prices have increased 100% in the case of milk, flour, benzine, eggs, pasta and on and on.
How fortunate for people to live in temperate climates where the gardening season is longer than the harsh winters where I live (6months) & we have reasonable gardening from mid June to early Sept when our 1st frost hits. Lucky to get one batch of ripened tomatoes & good luck with trying to get a good feed of sweet peppers. Last year my 8 yr old pear tree had 4 pears on it, hard as chestnuts & no bigger. Peach tree had 15 peaches, only 3 ripened fully, a cold snap made others fall to the ground half grown only. WE have high food prices, out of our control, and no option to grow a lot of food. My Liter of coffee cream is now just over $8.00 Canadian dollars. Just a month ago it was around 40cents cheaper & 2 years ago it was around $5.00. So my 1 luxury I have allowed myself every month on my shopping trip is now out of my range. I stopped eating meat completely almost 3 yrs ago. I eat lots of root vegetables & rice & eggs (until a weasel killed most of my 15 chickens right in front of my eyes on 3 occasions). Life is hard but thankfully I am still very healthy for a 70 yr old, but I do miss seeing any people to talk with between my shopping trips. Fuel is too expensive to use the car more & it is not possible to walk to any shops at all here. And neighbours are at work all day except the 2 over 90yrs & stay to themselves too.
Ilona – From the Heart, emotional, passionate, factual and educational – coming from a distant land, of the Maple Leaf – thank-you for your sharing.
Hungary – nothing is going to get CHEAPER and its not SOLELY the creation of the Orban led – the inability as a Government to CONTROL it, as outside the boarder of Hungary, the impact forces direction and circumstances of the economic & financial position of country’s that we Hungary, buy off or have a trading arrangements, we have little or NO say in there “Modus Operandi”.
The Orban led Government of Hungary certainly haven’t assisted – flexing there MUSCELS – in the interest of Hungarians – to the degree they could have.
My regular visits to Germany, Austria and Switzerland, and we ADORE find great joy visiting Supermarkets, as we always take apartments – and do our own cooking 95% of the time, prices singling out Pasta – overall lower in price that we pay in Hungary.
There is a VERY much larger choice Range, which is an important factor bought on by COMPETITION.
Inflation – taken advantage of – exploited by those amongst us – that includes the main players in Supermarkets in Hungary – who function to act with Greed, Selfishness and Exploitation – this upward trending, not at its ZENITH of price increases, this vile attitude – in these challenging times – REPLUSIVE.
Personally, I would have expected Italy’s pasta prices to the cheapest in Europe, if not most of the world.
I’m saddened by your personal experience, especially when I think of my grandparents and other elderly people living here.
It does not take a genius to realise that most of our erderly are the ones who ALWAYS get the short end of the stick. Here (and most of the West as well) our elderly are not revered as they are in Japanese, Chinese Vietnamese and other Eastern cultures.