A plate of pasta costs over a third more than it did just one month ago, sunflower oil is double the price and a tin of kunserva is up by a quarter, according to a price comparison supplied by a shop owner to Times of Malta.

The soaring prices from December to January illustrate the cost of living crisis hitting many families across the country.

Big name brands of butter, pasta, tinned salad, tea, Bovril and tinned milk are among the items that have seen steep price rises, with an average increase of around 17 per cent.

The shop owner, who asked to remain anonymous, provided Times of Malta with the list of the items which have seen the highest and most frequent price increases in the last month.

A packet of Barilla pasta has gone from 93c to €1.20 and the brown version from €1.35 to €1.70 while the sauces to go with it have risen from €1.98 to €2.60, according to the shopping list that has seen incremental changes in pricing since December.

Kerrygold butter was priced at €2.99 in December but rose to €3.19 in January, the list shows, while sunflower oil, once considered a cheap basic has soared by 117 per cent – from €1.15 to €2.49.

Rio Mare’s tinned salad has gone up from €6.99 to €7.69 while the brand’s paté now costs €2.15 from €1.99.

While prices may vary across other shops and larger supermarkets, they show a snapshot of how quickly items are increasing, with global supply chain issues being blamed.

The shop owner said that regular deliveries arrive with new wholesale and consumer prices which are changing so frequently that staff are having to check and double-check prices which previously would have been familiar.

Shoppers in Paola and Qormi on Tuesday said they had noticed their shopping bills had become more expensive “everywhere you go”.

And consumers can expect prices of food and other essential goods to keep climbing until after the summer, according to an expert forecast, with inflation projections not looking good.

National Statistics Office (NSO) data released on Monday showed food prices were rising at their fastest rate in at least four years.

The Retail Price Index shows an increase of 5.24 per cent in food prices in December compared to a year earlier, reflecting consumer complaints of rising living costs and prompting Finance Minister Clyde Caruana to meet social partners on a proposed strategy to tackle the impact of inflation, particularly on low-income earners.

The consumer price of products is established by the wholesaler and cannot be increased but some stores do reduce them. The list provided offers a snapshot of the situation but prices can vary.

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