Norway’s state statistics bureau SSB (Statistics Norway) has released figures showing that prices rose 6.3 percent in May and even more in June. Big hikes in the country’s already notoriously high food prices got most of the blame.
“This is unusually strong price growth,” Espen Kristiansen of SSB told state broadcaster NRK. “We have to go back to the 1980s to see similar growth.”
Core inflation, excluding the increases in electricity rates and fuel prices, also rose to 3.6 percent, the highest level measured by SSB since 1995 when interest rates were still at double-digit levels.
Prices for energy and food rose the most, with electricity rates nearly 30 percent higher than the same period last year and fuel up as much as 56 percent. That in turn affected food prices, which were fueled by the higher costs for transport, energy and fertilizer. Even though Norwegian farmers received record high subsidy and other forms of taxpayer support in the revised state budget, food prices for consumers rose 5.6 percent from June 2021 to June 2022, and were up 2 percent from May to June.
They’re already rising even more this month, after suppliers boosted prices charged to grocery retailers from July 1. Some fruit prices are up 8.4 percent, while a basket of Norwegian strawberries was selling for around NOK 60 during the weekend. It’s all expected to prompt Norway’s central bank to raise interest rates again, while also negating the effect of pay raises earlier this spring.