Press Release: Alcohol and Inflation: Rising Wine and Champagne Prices

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Comparis Consumer Price Index November 2022

Alcohol and inflation: rising wine and champagne prices

Inflation as it is felt has dropped slightly in Switzerland from October to November 2022. Despite everything, several products have become more expensive, such as white wine and red wine. This is revealed by the Comparis* consumer price index. Once again, heating energy prices registered the strongest increase.

Zurich, December 15, 2022 – The Comparis Consumer Price Index, compiled in collaboration with the Swiss Economic Institute (KOF) at ETH Zurich, measures inflation as perceived by consumers and consumers. To this end, only changes in the prices of everyday consumer goods are taken into account, for example those of food, medicine or clothing. The inflation rate is calculated without mitigating factors such as income or durable goods.

Thus, according to the Comparis consumer price index, everyday goods in Switzerland increased by 3.2% in November 2022 compared to the same month last year. The Swiss consumer price index (CPI) shows an increase of 3%.

Since October 2022, Swiss Comparis basket prices have dropped, precisely 0.2% (CPI: no change). In the previous month, the cost of daily consumer goods fell by 0.1% (CPI: +0.1%).

After a decline, the price increase maintains a high cruising speed

In the international comparison, we note that in twelve months inflation was lower in Switzerland than in the euro zone. According to Eurostat, the Statistical Office of the European Union, prices increased by 10.1% in eurozone countries during this period (EU-wide: +11.5%). In November, the inflation rate stood at -0.1% (compared to 1.4% for the EU as a whole).

“While inflation is high in Europe, Switzerland is in the eye of the hurricane,” says Kuhn. This is due to its strong franc, its lower dependence on oil and gas, its stable monetary policy, as well as its relatively numerous state-controlled prices. 🇧🇷

The cost of wine is rising

What draws attention in the analysis are the prices of white wine, up 5% in November (compared to a drop of 1.4% in October). This product thus recorded the second highest increase. Even in a long-term comparison since May 2000, white wine has become significantly more expensive, that is, 10.4%. Among alcoholic beverages, spirits and beers also rose sharply, by 10.3% and 16.8%, respectively. Red wine increased by 4.5% in the same period (+3.6% since the previous month).

The evolution of the price of sparkling wine in the retail trade is surprising: every year, prices drop sharply in November, a trend that continues into December. However, this year, the drop was more moderate than in 2021. “If sparkling wines, at this time of year, are more accessible than ever, however, they are more expensive than in November 2021”, says Kuhn. Either way, it’s best to buy now as prices are expected to rise over 10% again in January. 🇧🇷

Biggest month-to-month price increase

It’s not just drink prices that have gone up in the last month. The prices of margarines, cooking fats and oils recorded the biggest increase, 7.1% (October: -2.5%). “Increasing raw material, energy, packaging and transportation costs mean higher prices for customers and end customers,” says Kuhn.

Home textiles, bed linen and accessories remained in the top 5 most expensive goods (+4.6%), as well as sugar (+4.5%) and red wine (+3. 6%).

Biggest year-over-year price increase

Several products registered a price increase even in the last twelve months: for those who, last month, had expenses with heating energy (gas, fuel oil, firewood and urban heating), the bill was significantly higher than the previous year, due to the increase of the price by 49.5%. According to the Comparis analysis, no other product experienced such a strong year-on-year increase.

“This sharp increase is above all seasonal. In recent months, the effect of several exceptional factors such as high order volumes, tight supply chain and a refinery closure has diminished, which may lead to stable or even slightly lower prices,” explains Mr. Kuhn. Before the massive price increases in 2022, energy expenditure represented, on average and depending on the source or calculation base, 1.4 to 5% of household expenditure.

Air transport prices also rose, 23.8%, thus rising to the second step of the inflation podium. The rise in the prices of margarines, cooking fats and oils (+11%) was the third strongest. The 4th and 5th places are occupied by fuel and travel packages, up 10.9% and 10.1%, respectively.

Cost of living for couples aged 65 and over without children: still the highest since last year

Couples aged 65 or over without children represent the category in which inflation was most felt in the last twelve months. The inflation rate they feel since last year is 3.6%. However, in November, the cost of living fell by 0.2% for this category of the population.

If we stick to the numbers, among all the families, it is the single-parent families that feel inflation the least. With an index established at 104.4 points, the inflation felt by people in this category is 2.9% in the last twelve months. “While childless couples generally have more money to live in larger homes, shop and travel, single-parent families often don’t have that money. They are less affected by price increases, because they cannot pay for the goods and services affected by price increases anyway,” explains Mr. Kuhn.

Low-income people are most affected

Based on income, it is for the category that earns the least that the cost of living has risen the most in the last year. Its consumer price index rose 3.2%. In November, inflation stood at -0.2. “Since the acceleration of inflation this year, so far it has been medium and high incomes that have been most affected month by month. Inflation now hits people with a limited budget, because the increase in the price of everyday consumer goods weighs more than, for example, travel and leisure”, explains Mr. Kuhn.

The upper-middle class was the least affected by inflation. For her, prices rose 3.1% compared to last year, but last month they fell 0.2%.

In Ticino, inflation peaks

Comparison between language regions reveals that, over twelve months, Italian-speaking Switzerland recorded the highest inflation, set at 3.3%. In November, the price level fell by 0.2%.

The lowest inflation was recorded in German-speaking Switzerland and French-speaking Switzerland, where it reached 3.1%. Compared to the previous month, the cost of living in these regions fell by 0.2% in November.

Biggest increase since 2000

Since the beginning of the millennium, heating energy (gas, fuel oil, firewood and district heating) has increased the most: its price has increased by an average of 205% since May 2000. Financial services and cigarettes rank second and third place in the top 5 list of long-term inflation, with 95.3% and 93.1% increases, respectively.

Newspapers and magazines (+75.3%) and other tobacco (+74.7%) also became significantly more expensive for consumers.

Many products are much cheaper

Although today the impression of an increase in the cost of living prevails, appearances are partly deceiving. The price of some daily use goods dropped significantly between May 2000 and November 2022. In first place, that of medicines, which fell 43.2% on average.

Prices for data carriers and content dropped by 40.2% and small household appliances are much more accessible to consumers (-35.0%). The price of telecommunications services fell by 29.3%. Finally, personal care appliances are also more accessible, with a drop of 28.9%.

* Comparison of the Consumer Price Index

The Swiss consumer price index (CPI) measures price developments based on a representative basket of approximately 1,050 goods and services. Inflation is characterized by a persistent fall in money value or a rise in the average price level. The CPI comprises 12 main categories, including long-term investments and rentals. On the other hand, important expenditure items such as social security premiums or direct taxes are not taken into account. The CPI, therefore, does not reflect inflation as it is actually experienced by consumers.

Established in collaboration with the Swiss Economic Institute (KOF) at ETH Zurich, the Comparis consumer price index reflects inflation sentiment by excluding rent values ​​and prices of durable goods such as cars, tourism and furniture included in the CPI data. Furthermore, Comparis explicitly takes into account factors such as family type, income category and language region.

The data on which the Comparis consumer price index is based come from the Swiss consumer price index (CPI) and the household budget survey (HBS). The weights for the new price indices are established based on 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 informations :

Michael Kuhn
Expert Consumer Finance
Téléphone : 044 360 53 91
Courriel :  media@comparis.ch
comparis.ch

About comparais.ch

With more than 80 million visits per year, comparis.ch is one of the most visited websites in Switzerland. The company compares rates and services from health insurers, insurance companies, banks and telecom operators. It also features Switzerland’s largest online offer for cars and real estate. With its detailed comparisons and in-depth analysis, it contributes to more transparency in the market. Comparis.ch thus strengthens the consumer’s decision-making experience. Founded in 1996 by economist Richard Eisler, the company now has more than 200 employees in Zurich.

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