Tuesday, May 20, 2008

May 2008: Prices going up

Much is said about inflation and some of us may have realized this in cases whereby certain products have risen sharply.But to put into perspective we here at the Priceisright.Cambodia have used the latest price data to present the following overview:

Lucky's Thai Huot
Nov '07-May '08 17,4% 9,3%
on annual basis 34,6% 18,6%
no. of products 21 15
Dec '07-May '08 14,0% 7,6%
on annual basis 33,3% 18,1%
no. of products 53 37
Feb-May '08 8,3% 5,7%
on annual basis 30,4% 21,2%
no.of products 61 45

With two of Phnom Penh's most popular supermarkets as reference, it's easy to see that inflation is high. Between November 2007 and May 2008 prices rose by 17,4 % at Lucky's while Thai Huot registered just under half that figure, 9,3%. Doubling these figures gives an annual estimate. An estimate, because we do not contend that the numbers we came up with are the exact numbers; they provide an indication. This is specially apparent in the overview November-May: not many products are included, thus December-May is a more accurate estimate. Still these figures are near those of November-May.

When these numbers are recalculated to an annual number, it's surprisingly to see, Lucky's numbers dropping (from 34,6% to 30,4%, on an annual basis), while those of Thai Huot are going up (from 18,6% to 21,2%). Though still considerable difference between the two.

Not to be deduced from this table are the numbers over the April-May period for Lucky, which add up to more than 50% (53,3%, based on 48 products) on an annual basis, so the price rises slowing is most probably a temporary thing.

The reality? Orchid butter has gone from $1,35 to $3,10, Sunflower oil from $1,90 to $3,20 between November and May @ Lucky's, President Camembert from $3,20 to $4,75 and Cadbury's chocolate from $3,40 to $3,90 between December and May 2008. At Thai Huot Schweppes Bitter Lemon has gone from $0,55 to $0,75, Arla Mozarella from $2,90 to $3,50 between November and December, Soybean oil from $1,40 to $1,90 and Sunsilk shampoo from $3,20 to $3,55 between December and May 2008.

More recent increases have been Feta cheese (Lemnos from $5,10 to $6,60), toilet paper (Cellox, from $0,90 to $1,10) and teabags (Lipton, from $3,95 to $4,30) at Lucky's during the past month. Over at Thai Huot more recent rises over the February-May time frame have been Nescafe (from $3,50 to $4,10) and rice (New Rain from $1,20 to $1,40).

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