MaltaToday survey: Concern over rising food prices more than doubles in two months

Almost 1 in 3 people are facing higher food prices as the effects of the war in Ukraine come home by way of higher prices for wheat, vegetable oil, corn, and grains

War costs: Ukraine is the largest exporter of sunflower seeds and oil, with halted stocks meaning immediate price increases in edible oils
War costs: Ukraine is the largest exporter of sunflower seeds and oil, with halted stocks meaning immediate price increases in edible oils

Inflation is the foremost worry among voters, with food prices being at the heart of the problem, according to a MaltaToday survey.

The findings show that 28.1% of people consider inflation and higher food prices as their principle worry. This is more than double the number of people who indicated inflation as a main concern last March and is a reflection of the exorbitant price rises across the board.

Inflation had been on the rise towards the end of last year on the back of supply chain disruptions caused by the pandemic but shifted into top gear after the Russian invasion of Ukraine hit energy and food prices.

In March, when the impact of the Russian invasion only started being felt, inflation came in as the second highest concern with 12%.

The topmost concern back then was corruption with 20.4% but this has now slipped into insignificance with less than 1% indicating corruption as a concern.

The latest survey results show that the war in Ukraine is the second topmost concern with 6.4%. This is almost double what it was in March when the war was the seventh highest concern at 3.3%.

Russia invaded its neighbour at the end of February and has been trying to occupy vast swathes of territory amid widespread destruction and death.

The third highest concern is health with 4.9% of people citing health-related issues as their primary cause for worry. The survey does not indicate whether the concern is related to the individual’s state of health or whether it’s just a general concern about wellbeing.

This excludes those concerned about COVID-19, which was indicated by 1.3% of respondents. Back in March, COVID came in fourth with 9% saying it was their principle concern.

Traffic and roads are the fourth top concern with 2.3% of people, either indicating the discomfort caused by roadworks or the state of road congestion. This represents a significant drop from 10.9% who identified traffic and roads as a concern in March.

Concerns about construction and the environment were far less pronounced in May than they were in March.

The latest findings show that the largest cohort of people, 35.7% could not indicate any particular concern, while 11.4% indicated a myriad of other issues.

The survey was conducted between Monday 16 May and Wednesday 25 May 2022. The survey was completed by 656 respondents and stratified random sampling based on region, age and gender was used to replicate the Maltese demographic. The estimated margin of error is 4.3% for a confidence interval of 95% for the overall results.