By Associated Press
“I could lower the quality and use the oil more, but I refuse to do it. We want customers to return and expect the same quality,” Parasos said.
In Poland, bread prices are up 30%, sending shoppers to discount outlets. Bakers in Belgium are laying off workers, as prices for a loaf rise by 30 cents, to 2.70 euros ($2.85).
“I know bakers who work 13 or 14 hours a day to get out of this and honor their loans,” Albert Denoncin, president of the French-speaking bakery federation, told La Premiere radio. “We can do it for a while, but when I hear from the World Bank management that this will last until 2024, we are not going to make it.”
In Spain, truckers have gotten some relief on diesel prices thanks to government emergency measures, including a small rebate and permission to pass along higher fuel costs to customers.
Still, the burden is high. Óscar Baños, who drives his own cargo trailer out of the central Spanish town of Palencia, said tires have risen from 400 to 500 euros, a new truck cab is up from 100,000 to 120,000 euros, and a liter of diesel has risen from 1.20 to 1.90 euros in the past year. That’s the equivalent of a gallon of gasoline rising from $4.80 to $7.60.
“There is a lot of uncertainty, not just in our sector but across the board,” Baños said.
Europe’s auto market also is facing price hikes as factory shutdowns in Ukraine, sanctions on Russia and an existing global semiconductor shortage crimp supplies of components needed to make cars.
As a result, average new car prices in Europe are expected to rise $500 to $2,000 this year, according to Nishant Mishra, associate director of investment research at Acuity Knowledge Partners.
Back in Milan, the roundabout is just one of half a dozen sites Ronzoni has had to close in recent months. He finds himself unable to deliver the work at the contracted prices.
High costs mean companies are not bidding to take on public works, including a bridge in Rome that was to be the first project built with EU recovery funds. The money earmarked for infrastructure, worth nearly half of the 220 billion euros from the EU, is at risk — along with the jobs it would bring, according to ANCE National Association of Construction Workers.
The government has announced 3 billion euros to help cover increased prices, but builders it’s not sufficient, with costs up an average of 40%, but sometimes much higher. Iron prices, for example, are up 170%, Ronzoni said.“It’s exponential,” he said.