Family Basic Basket Soared $14 in a Year to Close at $333.97 in March - Expat Community

Family Basic Basket Soared $14 in a Year to Close at $333.97 in March

Apr 29, 2024 | News & Articles, Panama | 0 comments

By Katiuska Hernández

The maximum cost reported by Acodeco for this basic basket of products was $333.97, representing a 4.28% increase compared to the $320.26 it cost in March 2023.

As for the lowest cost in March, it was located in Juan Díaz at $274.21, while the highest was in El Cangrejo at $332.03.

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According to the monthly report from the Consumer Protection and Competition Defense Authority (Acodeco), the maximum price of the Family Basic Basket of Food (CBFA) reached $333.97, which translates to $14 more than in March of last year when it cost $320.26.

The report, which measures the price variation of a total of 59 products in supermarkets and routes in the districts of Panama and San Miguelito, indicates that the average price of this group of food was $293.52, while the lowest price recorded in the evaluated establishments was $274.21.

In contrast, the caloric cost of the family’s basic basket of food for the districts of Panama and San Miguelito, measured by the Ministry of Economy and Finance, exceeded the measurement of Acodeco. By the end of December 2023, which is the latest report updated by the MEF, this basket of products cost $360.51, an amount that also represented an increase of 5.4% compared to December 2023. And the national average placed it at $334.56.

By establishment, the Acodeco report details that the lowest cost of the Family Basic Basket of Food in March 2024 was recorded in Juan Díaz at $274.21, specifically at Xtra Los Pueblos. Meanwhile, the highest cost was in the Bella Vista sector, at Casa de la Carne El Cangrejo, with a total cost of $332.03.

The Products That Increased the Most in Price

On average, consumers spend $99.51 monthly on meats, $46.74 on cereals, $31.41 on vegetables, and $20.15 on fruits, which are the four groups that account for the largest percentage of the food budget.

The Acodeco basket does not include household cleaning products or personal care items, so the cost of household purchases could double. Nor do the costs of household services such as water, electricity, and housing.

In supermarkets, the products that saw the biggest price increases compared to February were soup meat, which increased from $5.27 to $5.74, carrots, which rose from $1.63 in February to $2.21, flank steak, which increased from $5.16 per kilo to $5.52, chicken thighs with skin, which also increased from $3.95 to $4.13 per kilogram, and corn flakes, which went from $2.44 per 300-gram box to $2.57.

In minisúpers and corner stores (routes), the biggest increases were in green cabbage, which increased from $3.05 to $3.51 per kilo, prime ground beef, which went from $4.45 to $4.72, while garlic, which was selling for $2.71 per kilo in February, increased by more than $1.15 to reach $3.86. The price of national grape tomatoes went from $2.84 to $3.07 per kilo.

Products That Decreased in Price

In supermarkets, the main decreases in March were in cooked ham (4×4), which went from $9.28 in February to $8.55 in March. Whole milk powder decreased from $3.59 to $3.47, yellow onions also saw a price decrease from $2.48 to $2.20 per kilo, and green bananas decreased from $0.27 each to $0.26.

In minisúpers, the price of yucca, soup meat, chicken thighs, green bananas, and creamed corn all decreased.


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