What is the consumer price index?

We are all confronted with prices and inevitable price changes. Since 1920 an index of consumer prices is calculated monthly.
To measure the evolution of the ‘cost of living’, an index is used. This economic indicator measures the price evolution of a basket of goods and services that are bought by households and that represent their consumption habits.

The index does not necessarily measure the price level, but rather the fluctuation between two periods in time: the base year 2004 (=100) and the current price. Since 2008, the composition of the index basket is checked every two years against possible changes in household consumption patterns This helps to better take into account new products on the consumer market and also ensures a representative product basket during the entire index evolution between two base periods.
At national and European, level the index represents an important indication of price increases or inflation.

For many years, the index of consumer prices has found its way to several tables in different publications of Statistics Belgium.
Now, as soon as its publication is approved, the Consumer price index is quickly disseminated through our website http://statbel.fgov.beExternal link and the Weekly report ("Communiqué hebdomadaire").

Each month the consumer price index and health index are published in great detail on our website, up to the level of the representative items. Belgium is one of the few countries in Europe that publishes this level of detail. Indices are published up to product level immediately after approval of the index commission. The average prices are published with a delay of three months.

Since 1920 an index of consumer prices is calculated monthly. To measure the evolution of the ‘cost of living’, an index is used.

The table below presents data from the last 13 months of the general consumer price index, inflation, the health index, the smoothed index, the harmonised index, and harmonised inflation. be.STAT can retrace the general consumer price index back to 1920 and the health index back to 1994.

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Consumer price index by base year, last 13 months

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