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Foamy rise

If you have been focusing on fuel and food inflation, scan your shopping bill more closely.

     Print Edition: September 4, 2008

If you have been focusing on fuel and food inflation, scan your shopping bill more closely. There will be small, but significant, surprises awaiting you. For instance, the price of a bathing soap has risen by about 9.3% every year since 1991.

Then: The price of a 150 gm bar of bathing soap was Rs 5.20 in 1991

Now: It now costs Rs 24, a rise of 352% in 17 years

Then: If the price of soap keeps rising at the same rate, a 150 gm bar may cost Rs 108.50 in 2025

If you haven’t felt the pinch, it could be because soap accounts for a small part of your monthly expenses. Also, the size of the soap bar you use today is smaller than the one you used 10 years ago. The rise in cost that results from reduction of size is what’s termed as stealth inflation.

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