Food prices in Sweden surged over 20 percent for the past 12 months, registering the highest increase in over seven decades, according to official data.
Statistics Sweden said on Wednesday that food and non-alcoholic beverages became 20.95 percent more expensive between February 2022 and February 2023, compared with the same period of the previous 12 months, reports Xinhua news agency.
This is the biggest annual increase in food prices in Sweden since the beginning of the 1950s, it said.
“During the 1970s and 80s, food prices also increased a lot, but not as quickly as they do now. We have to go back to 1951 to find the most recent 12-month period when food prices increased by over 20 percent,” said John Eliasson, price statistician at Statistics Sweden.
Food prices increased broadly, with butter, eggs, and dairy products rising by more than 30 percent in the past 12 months.
Prices of vegetables surged even higher, with leeks and cauliflower rising by almost 80 percent.
Month-on-month, the price of food and non-alcoholic beverages rose by 2.74 percent in February compared to January.
“It is worrying,” said Alexander Noren, Swedish Television’s economic commentator, adding that if the trend continues, it would be difficult to tame such inflation.
The overall inflation in Sweden remains high for the past few months.
The data from Statistics Sweden also showed that the country’s inflation rate hit a 31-year record high of 12.3 percent in December 2022.
After a slight fall to 11.7 percent in January this year, it increased again to 12 percent in February.