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Food and drink prices have mushroomed since 2000

Prices up by almost 70 per cent since turn of the century, Eurostat data shows

Food prices have ballooned over the past 18 years. Photo: Shutterstock

Food prices have ballooned over the past 18 years. Photo: Shutterstock

The prices of food and non-alcoholic drinks in Malta have risen by almost 70 per cent since 2000, according to Eurostat data.

The 68.7 per cent increase was the ninth highest within the European Union and was well above the EU average of 43.3 per cent, the figures show.

The items evaluated included bread, cereal, meat, fish, dairy products, fruit vegetables, water, juices and soft drinks.

The Times of Malta reported last week retailers were informing customers the price of milk would soon be raised.

Although dairy company Benna denied that it planned to increase the price of its products, it insisted such information was “strictly confidential”.

The reports of a possible hike in the price of milk follow increases in the prices of bread, fuel and pastizzi (Maltese cheese or pea pastries) in recent weeks.

The European statistics office reported that overall goods and services prices rose by 41.2 per cent in Malta between 2000 and 2017. Within the EU, these prices went up by 36 per cent overall.

The price of housing, water, electricity, gas and other fuels increased in Malta by 66.3 per cent in the period under review. Products and services related to health also became costlier by 63.5 per cent, compared to just over 40 per cent at the EU level.

Higher prices were also recorded in the hospitality industry (60.7 per cent), education (135.5 per cent) and recreation and culture (11.7 per cent).

The only sector in Malta in which prices were below the European average was transport, where prices went up by 26.8 per cent, as compared to 41.2 per cent EU-wide.

Malta followed the trend prevalent in the rest of Europe in prices related to communications, which dropped by 13.8 per cent, though the decrease was higher – 21.7 per cent – at the EU level.

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