Retailers ‘exploit’ higher wages and drive up inflation in Lithuania

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Prices grew twice as fast in Lithuania this year as in the rest of the euro zone. People’s growing purchasing power is incentivizing retailers to raise prices, according to an economist.

Annual inflation in the country is expected to stand at around 2.5 percent this year, economists estimate. Food is among the products that drove inflation, as food prices jumped almost 6 percent last summer in Lithuania, outpacing all other eurozone countries.

Žygimantas Mauricas, an analyst with Luminor bank, says that Lithuanian retailers even raised prices on products that became cheaper in other countries.

“What is most disconcerting is that, while prices of vegetables and meat grew in other countries as well, they grew faster here. And some products, like fruit, became cheaper elsewhere, but appreciated here,” Mauricas told LRT TV.

The reason is that retailers are raising prices in response to growing incomes.

The average wage in Lithuania was €1,252 (before tax) in the second half of this year and grew 9 percent from the year before.

 

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