Every time you visit the supermarket, do you have the impression that prices are higher? To answer that question, Telenoticias took the challenge of comparing prices of 20 items, comparing today’s prices to that of May 2011.
The local television news team, in its report, says it took care to look for exactly the same brand of product and package size for a proper and realistic comparison.
The result? Of the 20 products in the basket, 19 had increased in price and only one stayed the same, which was a margarine product.
The report does not name brand, just the type of product and container size.
For example, it found that a 3 litre container of cooking oil, rose ¢1.346 colones. The price in 2011 was ¢3.369, today the same oil costs ¢4.985 colones. A can of tuna increased 33%, a tube of toothpaste increased in price 23%, a 4kg bag of laundry soap rose nearly 10%.
Thus the impression that living in Costa Rica has gone up is a reality, a reality backed up by a sampling of everyday products when compared to two years ago.
According to the Instituto de Estadística y Censos (INEC) – Statistics and Census Board – of the 292 goods and services that make the “canasta basica” (basic basket), between January and May of this year, on average more than half (52%) saw an increase in prices, 36.6% dropped in prices and 11.1% saw no change.
The increase can be attributed to inflation.
The question now is, are the experts measuring inflation properly? Or is still the best measure of inflation what the consumer sees at the check out counter – either paying more or less for their purchases?