Since the beginning of the global economic crisis, food prices in Bosnia and Herzegovina have increased consistently, while citizens' purchasing power has decreased.
Prices of basic foods in the country go up five times faster than salaries and pensions, which is why more and more of citizens are falling into deep poverty, analysts say.
In Bosnia and Herzegovina the price of basic foods has increased nearly 100% in the past two years. Considering the fact that average salary in BiH is around 415 euros, a family in BiH spends over 50% of its income on food on average. By contrast, in the EU, a family spends 15% of its income on food.
BiH consumers are dealing with "hidden cost" increases, where producers or sellers repackage a product to reduce the quantity but charge the same price. There are also "silent increases" of up to 1% consistently over a period of time which consumers do not notice. These "silent increases" have led to prices of certain goods increase by 15% in the last six months.
Shopping centers announced that they have already received a new price list and there will be significant price increases. Analysts say that the main problem for it is an extremely bad year for agriculture in the BiH and in countries from which it imports products.
So far authorities in Bosnia and Herzegovina have not issued any explanation regarding food price hikes. But considering the fact that the local elections are near, many say they will react sooner or later.
Economists warn that beacuse of the ongoing economic, agricultural problems, and lack of effective government involvement, consumers should expect additional price rise.