2021, the year of inflation: a kilo of lemon reached 70 pesos and “they say it will go up more”

I do the supermarket “big” methodically every month, but every 15 days I come back for the “small” purchases. Omelettes and eggs run out faster than wipers and napkins. I almost always buy the same thing; quantity and brands. In the first days of January, my “small” purchases cost me just a little less than double what I used to pay in the middle of 2021.

I called my grandmother to ask how her side effects from her third dose of vaccine went. Then he told me that he went to the market. “Everything is very expensive, the chicken breast is 120 pesos a kilo, the onion -which was the cheapest- also went up and the lemon is already 70, oh, and the man said it will go up more,” he told me. . “Why is everything so expensive?” he asked me.

The minimum consumption basket In Mexico, it closed December 2021 with a year-on-year inflation rate of 8.11%, according to figures from the National Consumer Price Index (INPC) released by Inegi.

Green tomato, lemon, serrano pepper, tomato, avocado, onion, corn tortillas, ground beef and chicken are among the products that became more expensive during the year, with year-on-year inflation rates higher than the general average of the INPC.

This is not an isolated phenomenon, the whole world faces a general increase in prices. In fact, the FAO (Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations) warned that in October 2021 world food prices reached their highest levels in 10 years.

In Mexico, for example, most of the basic foods in the population’s diet entered the list of the highest prices. Since the middle of 2021, the sustained and accelerated trend of price increase.

During December 2021, the green tomato was sold 91% more expensive than what was registered during the same month of the previous year. The lemon 90% more expensive, the chili 68%, the tomato 50%, the avocado 44%, the onion became 30% more expensive, the nopales about 20% and the corn tortillas were sold 17% more expensive.

The effects of inflation they also put pressure on prices in establishments that sell prepared foods, regardless of size. According to the INPC records, at the end of 2021, birria and barbecue recorded an 11% increase in their price compared to the same period in 2020.

Not only the fruits and vegetables they have become substantially more expensive; all meats too. This also implies the deepening of a problem that already existed before: the deficiency of animal proteins in the population of the lowest deciles.

Ground beef increased its price by 16% and fish and chicken registered a price increase of 9 percent. Even canned products are sold at higher prices; the annual rate of inflation for canned tuna and sardines was 11% during December 2021.

The globalized inflation and sustained, it already shows important effects on the purchasing power of families in Mexico and the world. As of December 2021, buying the minimum basket in urban regions costs an average of 3,917 pesos per person. In rural regions 2,785 pesos, according to the calculations estimated by Coneval (National Council for the Evaluation of Social Development Policy).

Both in small communities and in large cities, buying the basic food basket costs, on average, 9% more than it did a year ago.

The January slope

The impact of inflationary pressures on the levels of food insecurity of the population is important, especially if it is combined with other seasonal problems such as the already known “january cost”.

During the holiday season, expenses are incurred and financial decisions are made that can trigger financial problems at the beginning of the new year. As the lack of liquidity or the contraction of debts. January tends to be a complex month for a large part of the population.

Inflationary pressures, added to the January slope, can exert significant pressure on domestic consumption and, as a consequence, on food security levels in Mexico.

If you’ve switched from one brand to a cheaper one, eliminated a food from your diet because its price has increased, or skipped any of your meals, they are facing some degree of food insecurity.

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