Researching prices before shopping has always been a basic recommendation for consumers, especially low-income consumers, most of whom are Brazilians. But few times in the history of this country, sadly, has finding the best price been so vital, as inflation remains high and widespread, and the rare jobs that appear have lower wages.
Changing brands of purchased products is contrary to consumer choices, but it is one of the few ways out to face the high price and the flattening of family income.
Even in the hyperinflationary past, most of the time, there were very high rates, but a lower unemployment rate, more formalization of work (with registration in the portfolio and benefits) and wage correction mechanisms.
Today, it’s not just about looking for the most affordable product. Often, it is essential to replace a commonly used item, for having a price that does not fit into any budget. Or opt for a lesser-known, but financially more affordable, branded product.
And I’m not referring to more sophisticated products, considered superfluous, but carrots, tomatoes, zucchini, melons, strawberries and meats, champions of readjustments in the last 12 months, among other food villains. When its prices soared, beef began to be replaced by chicken, then offal, sausage, sardines and eggs. Not a few started to buy chicken feet and bones!
Even the coffee was further away from the cup, as its prices have risen by almost 70% in the last 12 months.
Last April’s inflation, 1.06%, the highest for this month since 1996, turned on a red light for the Brazilian economy. We are going to go to the vinegar while politics continues to be the order of the day, with discussions about electronic voting machines, pardon for pet parliamentarians and an unlikely privatization of Petrobras.
There are no clear proposals to slow down inflation, especially the prices of basic food products, or to create jobs. Much less to recover the purchasing power of Brazilians.
So, in addition to keeping an eye on the electoral process to better choose future governors, shopping must be carefully combed, with a lot of research and identification of items that replace the more expensive ones.
And that’s what I didn’t even mention about the escalating prices of electricity, cooking gas and fuel, they are not subject to competition, and that make everything we consume more expensive.
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