The year 2022 points to price hikes for the consumers although experts still do not agree on whether these increases will tend to consolidate or be mitigated as a consequence of a natural competitive environment. Another issue is that of regulated prices. These are the main price increases announced and the main tensions expected at the beginning of the year that promises to be that of the pandemic normalization. Among the expected increases are the regulated rates of natural gas (TUR), the highways dependent on the General State Administration as well as the price of the postage stamp. The price of food or construction materials is also under pressure as a result of rising energy costs. The rise in inflation in 2021 was 6.7%, the highest since March 1992, although the Government has prolonged fiscal measures to prevent the increase in energy prices from becoming chronic and structural.
The price of electricity begins in 2022 after levels never before seen in the wholesale market and the futures markets do not foresee a drop until at least the second quarter. Super gasoline is around 1.5 euros per liter, close to its all-time high, which in turn makes the products and services offered by companies more expensive. Gas will rise 5% at the beginning of the year thanks to the fact that the Government has limited the increase to also avoid excessively damaging the pockets of those who consume it.With the price of gas skyrocketing in international markets, regulated natural gas rates (TUR) started the year with an increase of 5.48% compared to January 2021. If the cost of raw material had not been limited to 15%, the annual bill would have increased by 83.62%. The tolls that are charged on the electricity bill (and that before the reductions of the last quarter of 2021 could easily account for half of the bill) fall by around 30% and 4.6% respectively from this Saturday, which will translate into at least a discount of 7 euros per month in an average household. The price of the butane cylinder will be revised on January 18, but 2022 is already starting, being 5% more expensive, after the last quarterly revision, which came into effect on the third Tuesday in November, in what was its sixth consecutive increase. This 5% increase is the maximum allowed, although if that cap did not exist, it would have become 13.45% more expensive.
The price of cars will rise in January between 800 and 1,000 euros on average because this Saturday ends the six-month freeze – approved last June – of the sections of the registration tax.
The rates of the highways dependent on the General State Administration rise as of today by 1.97%, in accordance, fundamentally, with the consumer price index (CPI), although, exceptionally, the tolls of four -the AP -7, AP-6, AP-46 and AP-9- have an additional increase. On the AP-7, Alicante-Cartagena, the rise is 2.99%; in the AP-6, Villalba-Adanero, 2.84%; on the AP-46, in the Alto de Las Pedrizas-Málaga section, and on the AP-9, El Ferrol-Portuguese border, 2.99% in both cases. For the highways managed by the State Society for Land Transport Infrastructures (Seittsa), the rates approved in December 2018 are still in force. Likewise, a total of 550 kilometers of roads that were toll roads a year ago are now free, having become hands of the state.
In air transport, Aena’s five-year plan for 2022-2026 sets a freeze on the rates that the airport manager will charge the airlines in the next five years. In addition, Enaire will keep air navigation rates below the 2019 levels until 2024.
The interurban bus will have the same rise as the average CPI of 2021 that will be applied from the second quarter of the year.
The price of housing (which rose 4.3% in 2021, according to Tinsa) will rise by around 4% in 2022, according to the CaixaBank research service, while rents, which fell by an average of 4 in 2021, 5%, according to Idealista, could stop falling.
Mass consumer products
The warranty period for any product becomes three years from January 1. As a consequence, some experts fear that this element will have an inflationary effect and companies want to pass on the costs associated with the new legal framework in their sale prices to the public.
The rise in electricity and fuel prices and raw materials will also translate into a rise in staple foods in 2022, which in 2021 already became more than 3% more expensive, according to the latest CPI data. In any case, the distribution sector insists that there is such high competition that it is difficult for prices to rise in a generalized way, although the increases applied by the food industry will be impacted to a greater or lesser extent. The Spanish countryside also demands that the industry and intermediaries pay more, as a consequence of the increase in costs, mainly cereals, fertilizers and fuels.
Strong competition in the telecommunications sector limits price increases, although strategies based on bundling services oblige consumers to supervise what is contracted to reduce what is paid to operators.
Post and courier
Postal mail will go up. The stamp for an ordinary national letter, the most used product, will cost five cents, up to 0.75 euros. The logistics industry will take advantage of the e-mail pull at a time of rising costs to keep prices high or raise them.
Salaries and pensions
Slightly more than 9.9 million contributory pensions will increase by 2.5% and the minimum retirement pension will be 721.7 euros per month, while the maximum will be 2,819.1 euros. The minimum and non-contributory pensions, as well as the minimum vital income (IMV) will increase by 3% and the salaries of public employees, by 2%, while the minimum interprofessional salary (SMI) begins the frozen year. In the private sector, given the rise in inflation, increases are expected, although each company or sector will depend on the progress of the business to apply wage increases or freezes.