Everyone has probably noticed that the prices of individual products can fluctuate greatly. Recently, however, consumers have been particularly badly affected by the phenomenon, according to an analysis by Barclays Bank. Accordingly, the prices of important consumer goods fluctuated significantly more in 2022 than in previous years, which could cost private households a lot of money.
The consumer goods in the official consumer price index, which is also used to determine inflation rates, were analyzed. The price difference between the cheapest and the most expensive month for each product was 8.5 percent on average. Since 2015, this value had only moved by 5 percent every year.
According to Barclays, these price fluctuations cost consumers up to 43 billion euros in 2022. Broken down to the individual household, this means that if a household were to buy the 300 consumer goods under consideration in the cheapest instead of the most expensive month, it could save 1,000 euros a year.
Excluded from this bill are basic necessities such as rent, electricity and gas as well as groceries, which can hardly be bought at a certain time of the year. If you could do that, the potential savings would be much higher, according to the analysis - namely 200 billion euros or 5000 euros per household and year.
If these basic supply products and services are also taken into account, the price fluctuations were even more than ten percent. "Price fluctuations can become a problem, especially if purchases cannot be postponed," comments Tobias Grieß, head of Barclays' European private customer business, on the figures.
Barclays also analyzed which products are cheapest and when, using price data from 2015 to 2022. As a result, January is usually the cheapest month for household and garden items, but also for fashion, cars and car accessories. According to statistics, e-book readers and PC accessories are cheapest in the spring months from March to May. For home cinema systems, audio equipment and headphones, it is summer time from June to September. Monitors, printers and laptops tend to cost less in autumn. In December there are often bargains on TV sets, games consoles and digital cameras.
According to the evaluation, the strongest price fluctuations within a year are in fashion, followed by household and garden products as well as cars and car accessories. In fact, price fluctuations and savings potential for many items are likely to be even greater than indicated in the analysis. After all, this refers to average prices – individual products can have far greater price differences on individual days. For purchases that are not urgent, the good old price comparison is worthwhile over a certain period of time.