Christmas

As Europe grapples with heatwaves and an intense summer season, supermarket giant Tesco has told its UK customers to start preparing and shopping for the holiday from now, so as to spread the costs over the next five months amid rising prices.

In a Christmas advert released by Tesco, it encouraged shoppers to spread the cost of the holiday, at a time when inflation in the country has skyrocketed to a new 40-year high at 9.4 per cent, largely driven by a dramatic increase in food and fuel prices.

In the new advert, Tesco said: “We know. We’re early. But this year we want to help you spread the cost.”

While Malta-based supermarkets have yet to share the same advice, inflation has not spared the island. Fuel and energy places have been frozen, but food prices continue to be a massive driver of inflation locally.

Indeed, the country has experienced the lowest annual rate of inflation across the EU at 6.1 per cent, however this is largely due to frozen fuel and energy prices. When removing energy and fuel prices from the inflation rate calculation, the Euro area’s rate of inflation drops from 8.6 per cent to 4.9 per cent, meaning Malta’s 6.1 per cent is a higher-than-average increase in cost of living.

Because of Malta’s status as a small island nation, limited market size mean food and retail prices tend to be costlier due to the inability to capitalise on economies of scale, on top of that, added shipping, freight and air transportation costs means the country is extra vulnerable to booms in shipping costs.

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