Economy and Trade

Rising consumer prices impact daily lives in Taiwan

Updated: Jul 15, 2022 Xinhua Print
Share - WeChat

TAIPEI -- A wave of consumer price hikes that began with electricity prices has swept across Taiwan this month, bringing a tangible impact to people's daily lives.

The cost of electricity has been raised by 8.4 percent on average since the beginning of July, as part of efforts to deal with the summer electricity shortage, according to the island's economic department.

Meanwhile, the warehouse club of the US retail giant Costco Wholesale, a popular franchise supermarket in Taiwan, has decided to raise the price of its own-brand toilet paper to 389 new Taiwan dollars (about $13) a pack, registering an accumulated increase of 20 percent over the past year or so.

Other consumer goods that are closely related to people's everyday lives have seen price hikes, including coffee, milk powder, household appliances and, most notably, foodstuffs.

According to the island's statistics agency, Taiwan's consumer price index, a major gauge of inflation, rose by 3.59 percent year on year in June, the largest gain in the past 14 years. The cost of eating out rose by 6.38 percent, while the price of eggs showed a stunning growth of 33.57 percent.

In addition to food prices, fares on the Taiwan railway are likely to double in the coming months, which will further thin people's wallets, according to a recent report about raising train-ticket prices.

The price hikes have directly impacted Taiwan's wage earners, with the rate of inflation outpacing any rise in wages. The latest data from the island's statistics agency shows that the regular salaries on the island, taking the consumer price inflation into consideration, shrank by 0.2 percent year on year in the first five months and have maintained negative growth since the beginning of this year.

The outlook on inflation in Taiwan seems pessimistic. A new survey by the Chung-hua Institution for Economic Research revealed that about half of the manufacturers in Taiwan believe the inflation problem will continue into 2023.

Observers say that, against the backdrop of the ongoing COVID-19 epidemic, the gap between rich and poor on the island has widened, with the youth and the vulnerable groups being the most susceptible, and they have called for introducing practical policies to stabilize consumer prices.

Copyright©2024 China Daily. All rights reserved.


京公网安备 11010502032503号 京公网安备 11010502032503号