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Paraguay's Consumer Price Index Falls, But Fruit Prices Rise Significantly

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After visiting and investigating popular domestic markets in Paraguay, Paraguay's NPY TV recently said that although the country's consumer price index (CPI) fell, the prices of fruits in several markets still rose, by up to 50%.

Paraguayan newspaper "The Latest Moments" reported on October 17 that NPY TV pointed out that among the popular markets in the country, bananas, apples and oranges have seen the most significant price increases.

A concessionaire at "Mercado 4" in Asunción said that freight costs account for a relatively large part of the cost of fruit, and that the price hikes are mainly due to the recent increase in fuel prices. He expressed hope that the price hike would improve before the end of the year, when people buy a lot of fruit to make the traditional fruit salad or the famous traditional drink "clericó".

A survey conducted by the Secretariat for Consumer and User Protection (Sedeco) from October 10 to 14 in supermarkets in Asunción and Central province showed that the prices of fruit varied greatly from one supermarket to another. For example, "karape bananas" (karape) cost between 3,250 and 6,800 guaraníes per kilogram; apples cost between 7,850 and 13,450 guaraníes per kilogram; and oranges cost between 2,900 and 5,100 guaraníes per kilogram.

Sedeco once again urged all suppliers to maintain reasonable prices for the products in the "basic family basket" in order to reduce the impact on the household economy, taking into account the current economic situation of the country in the context of the new crown epidemic.

According to data from the Central Bank of Paraguay (BCP), the consumer price index in Paraguay has fallen for two consecutive months up to September this year. In September, 66.2% of the products in the "basic household basket" increased in price, reaching the highest value so far this year.

BCP chief economist Miguel Mora pointed out that although inflation has decreased in recent months, inflation is still a concern, as the forecasted inflation rate at the end of this year is still above the official target of 4%.

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