The next time you fill up at the pump, think of the truckers

The next time you fill up at the pump, think of the truckers

15. 07. 2022 – Lomond

Fuel prices are a huge issue everywhere, both for consumers and politicians feeling the pressure from voters. In a sense, high fuel prices are unsurprising given rates of inflation across Europe – which are soaring everywhere, but particularly in Central & Eastern Europe:

However, the relationship between overall inflation and fuel prices is complicated and it’s interesting to compare the chart above with this one, showing the EU member states where current petrol prices have increased the most from a comparable baseline:

It’s comparable in some ways, but there are many areas of divergence too – partly, presumably, caused by the different measures governments have taken in recent weeks to try to keep petrol prices under control.

Perhaps the more interesting comparison is between petrol and diesel prices, which you might expect to track each other more closely. The reality is, though, that in every single EU member state except one, diesel prices have increased by more than petrol prices over the last 12 months – in some cases, very significantly so (Hungary, where fuel prices have been capped, is the one exception: there, petrol prices have increased by 13.6% over the last year, diesel prices by 12.8%). For the EU as a whole, prices of consumer goods are up 9% on average over the last 12 months. Petrol prices are up 32% in the same period; diesel prices are up 42%:

So the next time you are filling up your petrol engine car and feeling the inflationary pinch, think of the trucker next to you filling up their diesel engine lorry. Things are even tougher for them.