Consumer price index for February 2020
- Inflation decreases from 1.41 % to 1.10 % in February.
- The consumer price index increases by 0.02 point or 0.02 % this month.
- Inflation based on the health index falls from 1.12 % to 1.00 %.
- The smoothed health index amounted to 107.25 points in February. The central index has thus been exceeded.
- The most significant price increases in February were registered for vegetables, alcoholic beverages, flowers and plants, fruit as well as fish and seafood. However, motor fuels, natural gas, rents and electricity have had a decreasing effect on the index.
The consumer price index is running at 109.71 points in February 2020. It has increased by 0.02 point over the month. Inflation has decreased from 1.41 % to 1.10 %. The health index has gained 0.15 point to 109.87 points. Inflation based on the health index has decreased from 1.12 % to 1.00 %. The most significant price increases were registered for vegetables, alcoholic beverages, flowers and plants, fruit as well as fish and seafood. However, motor fuels, natural gas, rents and electricity have had a decreasing effect on the index.
The consumer price index rose by 0.02 point or 0.02 % in February 2020 and now stands at 109.71 points, compared to 109.69 points in January 2020 (2013=100).
The health index has increased by 0.15 point to 109.87 points in February, compared to 109.72 points in January. The smoothed health index amounted to 107.25 points in February. The central index for public service and social benefits, set at 107.20 points, has been exceeded. This means that social security benefits and pensions will rise by 2 % in March. Wages in the public sector will rise by 2 % in April. The last time the central index was exceeded was in August 2018.
The largest upward pressure in February came from vegetables, alcoholic beverages, flowers and plants, fruit as well as fish and seafood.
However, motor fuels, private rents, natural gas and electricity provided the largest downward pressure compared to last month. The most important trends this month are:
|Vegetables||+0.065 point||Motor fuels||-0.185 point|
|Alcoholic beverages||+0.060 point||Natural gas||-0.045 point|
|Flowers and plants||+0.045 point||Rents||-0.040 point|
|Fruit||+0.040 point||Electricity||-0.030 point|
|Fish and seafood||+0.025 point|
In February, prices for vegetables increased by 2.9 % on average compared to the previous month. Alcoholic beverages registered an average price increase of 3.1 %. For flowers and plants, the price increase amounted to 6.1 %. As every year in February, the sharpest increase was registered for roses due to Valentine's Day. Prices for fruit increased by 2.6 % on average compared to the previous month. Fish and seafood cost 2.1 % more this month.
Prices of motor fuels have decreased on average by 4.8 % compared to the previous month. Prices of natural gas have decreased on average by 2.7 % compared to the previous month. After the strong increase in January, rents have decreased by 0.5 % this month. Prices for electricity have decreased on average by 0.9 %.
Inflation now stands at 1.10 % compared to 1.41 % in January and 0.76 % in December. Inflation based on the health index amounted to 1.00 % this month compared to 1.12 % in January and 0.67 % in December. Inflation without energy remained stable at 1.79 % in February and January, compared to 1.37 % in December. Core inflation, which does not take into account price evolutions of energy products and unprocessed food, stands at 1.71 % in February, compared to 1.86 % in January and 1.45 % in December.
Food inflation now stands at 1.87 % compared to 1.03 % last month and 0.45 % in December. Fresh fruit were 4.8 % more expensive than in February 2019. Prices of fresh vegetables have decreased by 0.5 % in a year. Fish and seafood have become 2.3 % more expensive compared to February 2019. Prices for meat have increased by 2.4 % compared to last February. Prices for non-alcoholic beverages are on average 0.4 % higher than in February last year. Alcoholic beverages are now 2.6 % more expensive than a year ago. Tobacco prices have gone up by 4.1 % compared to February 2019.
Energy inflation is now running at -2.04 %, compared to -1.17 % last month and -4.36 % in December. Electricity is now 7.2 % less expensive than a year ago. Natural gas is 16.1 % less expensive on an annual basis. Prices for domestic heating oil, calculated based on a smoothed 12-month moving average, have decreased by 2.4 % in a year. Motor fuels are now 1.3 % more expensive than a year ago. Inflation for services has decreased to 2.11 % from 2.37 %. Finally, inflation for rents decreased to 2.10 % in February from 2.78 % in January.
The following products and services have registered the sharpest price increases compared to last year in February:
|Other tobacco products (e.g. loose tobacco)||8.1%|
|Educational text books||7.5%|
|Package holidays in Belgium||6.1%|
The following products and services have registered the sharpest price decreases compared to last year in February:
|Wireless telephone services||-6.9%|
|Other recording media (memory card)||-5.8%|
|Clothes washing machines, clothes drying machines and dish washing machines||-4.4%|
|Mobile telephone equipment||-3.9%|
|Pizza and quiche||-3.3%|
|Pregnancy tests and contraceptive devices||-2.9%|
The main group with the largest upward effect[i] on inflation in February was “Transport” with an effect of 0.18 percentage point. The largest downward effect was measured for “Housing, water and energy” (-0.67 percentage point).
The main groups with the largest contribution[ii] to inflation are “Food and non-alcoholic beverages” and “Transport” with 0.32 percentage point. The lowest contribution to inflation was registered by the main group “Housing, water and energy”, with -0.35 percentage point.
The first inflation estimate according to the European harmonised index of consumer prices (HICP flash estimate) for Belgium amounts to 1.0% in February. The difference between the HICP and the national consumer price index (CPI) is mainly due to conceptual differences in terms of weight source, reference population, spending concept, seasonal adjustment and moving average (smoothing).
|2013 = 100||November||December||January||February|
|Consumer price index||108.90||109.04||109.69||109.71|
|Smoothed health index*||106.73||106.76||107.04||107.25|
|* defined in the law of 23 April 2015 on the promotion of employment (Belgian Official Journal of 27 April 2015)|
[i]An effect on inflation shows the changes on the inflation rate by including this product group in the CPI calculation. The effect not only takes the weight of the product group into account, but it also takes into account whether the product group inflation is higher or lower than that of the total expenditure (overall CPI).
[ii]The contribution to inflation of a specific product group shows how much of the change in the total expenditure is due to the price variation of this product group.