Press Release: Heat, Fuel, Travel: New Index Highlights Real Price Shock

Press Release: Heat, Fuel, Travel: New Index Highlights Real Price Shock

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Comparis Consumer Price Index June 2022

Heating, fuel, travel: new index sheds light on real price shock

For the first time, Comparis publishes a consumer price index, in collaboration with the Swiss Economic Institute (KOF) of ETH Zurich. This index reflects inflation as it is really felt by consumers, excluding mitigating factors such as rental amounts and durable goods prices. From May to June 2022, the prices of everyday goods and services increased by 1.4%, while the Swiss Consumer Price Index (CPI) shows an increase of only 0.5%. “People are feeling the increased prices at the pump, at the supermarket, when traveling and when they receive their heating bill. This feeling is reflected in our price index,” explains Michael Kuhn, consumer finance expert at Comparis.

Zurich, July 28, 2022 – The Comparis Consumer Price Index*, compiled in collaboration with the Swiss Economic Institute (KOF) at ETH Zurich, measures inflation as it really is for the first time felt by consumers. To do this, only changes in the prices of everyday consumer goods are taken into account. The inflation rate is calculated without mitigating factors, such as rents or durable goods.

Thus, according to the Comparis consumer price index, everyday consumer goods in Switzerland increased by 1.4% in June 2022. This is 2.5 points more than what the Swiss consumer price index indicates. consumer price index (CPI), established at 104.5 points (an increase of 0.5%). Compared to the previous year, prices increased by 5.6% (CPI +3.4%).

“People are feeling the increased prices at the pump, at the supermarket, when traveling and when they receive their heating bill. This feeling is reflected in our price index,” explains Michael Kuhn, consumer finance expert at Comparis.

Biggest month-over-month price increase

Between May and June 2022, it is the prices of “other services for individual transport” that show the strongest increase, registering an increase of 12%. “Rental car costs have skyrocketed, mainly due to high demand and too limited a vehicle fleet,” observes Kuhn. Next comes the increase in fuel prices, by 7.3%.

Package travel, which increased by 7%, completed the podium. For Mr. and Mrs. Everyone, the increase in prices is also very noticeable in the field of air transport, where prices are up by 5.1%. “The rise in kerosene prices and the lack of personnel have considerably impacted the price of plane tickets. Added to the cancellation of many flights, anger is brewing among travelers,” adds Mr. Kuhn.

Fruits, vegetables, potatoes and mushrooms are also in the top 5 of the products whose price increased the most, with an increase of 4.9%.

Biggest increase since 2000

Since May 2000, the prices of energy used as a source of heating have increased by 174%. Cigarettes increased by 96%. The cost of financial services jumped 94%. Other tobaccos have risen by 76%, while the price of newspapers and magazines is up by 73.3%.

With regard to the evolution since 2000 of the products having experienced the highest inflation between May and June 2022: fuel increased by 64.15%, air transport saw its prices increase by 53.7% and other services for individual transport are now 36.2% more expensive. Package travel increased by 27.3% while for certain food products (fruits, vegetables, potatoes and mushrooms), the increase was 6.54%.

Last year, the cost of living soared for childless couples

Couples under 65 without children, called DINK (double income without kids), represent the category for which inflation has been felt the most over the past 12 months. The inflation rate as they currently feel it is 107.83 index points, an increase of 6.3% compared to 2021. “Childless couples often have high car expenses , motorcycles and travel. The increased costs in the field of mobility therefore have a strong impact,” explains Kuhn.

People living alone aged 65 and over are those who feel the cost inflation the least in their daily lives. With an index established at 105.75 points, the inflation felt by people in this category amounts to 4.6% over the last 12 months.

Italian Switzerland, the most affected region

A region-by-region comparison shows that Italian-speaking Switzerland is the one most affected by inflation. Not only does Ticino record the highest index level (107.7 points, compared to 107 in German-speaking Switzerland and 107.1 in French-speaking Switzerland) and therefore feel the impact of the rise in prices the most at the national level, but it is also the region that experienced the largest increase in the price of everyday goods between June 2021 and 2022, which reached 6.4%. This is significantly more than in French-speaking Switzerland (+5.9) and German-speaking Switzerland (+5.4).

“Ticino has one of the highest car densities in Switzerland. The high mobility costs therefore weigh heavily on the inhabitants of the canton. In addition, it has a higher than average number of one- or two-person households, which feel the brunt of inflation more strongly,” explains the expert.

Many products are much cheaper

Although the impression of a general rise in the cost of living prevails, appearances are partly deceptive. The price of certain daily use goods even fell sharply between May 2000 and June 2022. First and foremost that of medicines, which fell by 42.7% on average. Prices for storage media and content have fallen by 40%, and small household appliances are much more affordable for consumers (-35.2%). The telecommunications tariff has fallen by 29.3%. Finally, electrical appliances for personal care are also more accessible, down 29%.

“Mass-produced technology equipment in Asia has benefited the most from this downtrend, which however presupposes flawless supply chains. If these are permanently disrupted, the costs will rise again,” says Kuhn.

The prices of everyday consumer goods have also been relatively stable. Men’s and children’s clothing is now 0.3% more expensive; dresses for women increased by 6.5%. Bread, flour and cereal products have seen their prices rise by 4.2% since 2000. Hospital services are now 6% more expensive. The electricity bill in Switzerland is 15.5% higher. Finally, prices for meat and meat products soared by almost 18%.

* Comparis Consumer Price Index

The Swiss consumer price index (CPI) measures the evolution of prices on the basis of a representative basket of approximately 1050 goods and services. Inflation is characterized by a persistent decline in monetary value or an increase in the average level of prices. The CPI comprises 12 main categories, among which are long-term investments and rents. On the other hand, major expenditure items, such as social insurance premiums or direct taxes, are not taken into account. The CPI therefore does not reflect inflation as it is actually felt by consumers.

Established in collaboration with the Swiss Economic Institute (KOF) of ETH Zurich, the Comparis consumer price index reflects the feeling of inflation by excluding the amounts of rents and the prices of durable goods taken into account in CPI data. In addition, Comparis explicitly takes into account factors such as household type, income category and language region.

The data comes from the Swiss consumer price index (CPI) and the household budget survey (HBS). The weights for the new price indices are established on the basis of the EBM. The Laspeyres chain indices are then calculated with the CPI price series. The base index is that of December 2017 (corresponds to 100%).

For more information :

Michael Kuhn
Expert Consumer Finance
Téléphone : 044 360 53 91
Courriel :  [email protected]
comparis.ch

About comparis.ch

With more than 80 million visits per year, comparis.ch is one of the most visited websites in Switzerland. The company compares the rates and services of health insurance companies, insurance companies, banks and telecommunications operators. It also presents the largest online offer in Switzerland for automobiles and real estate. With its detailed comparisons and in-depth analyses, it contributes to more transparency in the market. comparis.ch thus strengthens consumer expertise in decision-making. Founded in 1996 by economist Richard Eisler, the company now has more than 175 employees in Zurich.

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