Parents are already going to stationery stores in the center of Mexico City, where they usually find cheaper products than in shopping malls. But with the surprise that some types of notebooks cannot be found and, if they are, they are at “excessive” prices, according to the merchants of Plaza Mesones.
The prices of paper as a production input have increased almost 21% from July 2019 to date, according to Inegi data, and families are paying the bill in this return to 100% face-to-face classes.
“Sales have dropped, they are not the same, more than anything because the products are a little out of stock and apart from that the prices are excessive. The books, there are some that are out of stock. The suppliers tell us that there is no production. It really is like a 30% which raised the price of everything,” says Josep Vázquez, a young tenant at the Katia stationery store, inside Plaza Mesones, in the center of Mexico City.
The prices of stationery items experienced an annual increase of 9.17% in July 2022, an increase above general inflation that was 8.15% in that month, according to figures from the National Institute of Statistics and Geography. Notebooks and, in general, paper products, have especially increased their prices. And, although the parents complain “they have no other choice”, because in the end they must buy the supplies for the return to school, on August 29, for basic education students.
“Parents who come to stock their children’s supplies are already taking the most expensive things and they don’t pay attention to the price. Because they are the ones that come on the list,” says Diana Karina, who runs the ‘Quintero’ stationery store, inside the square.
The average quality notebooks are rising in price and the parents of the students are looking for notebooks with colored covers, as requested in the various schools in the capital. And despite the fact that Diana Karina confirms that certain models of notebooks are scarce, parents have no choice but to buy them.
One of the factors of these increases could be a rise in paper costs. Well, according to the Inegi producer price indices, the paper industries have increased their prices 10.73%, at an annual rate, in July 2022. And, if compared to July 2019, before the pandemic, paper prices they are 21 percentage points more expensive.
Recently, the National Association of Office and School Supplies Manufacturers indicated that among the reasons for the increase in the price of paper products is inflation in materials such as wood, cellulose, resins and pigments.