Consumer price index of August 2022
- Inflation rose from 9.62% to 9.94% in August, reaching its highest level since March 1976, when it stood at 9.96%.
- The consumer price index this month increases by 1.00 points or 0.81%.
- Inflation based on the health index has increased to 9.70% from 9.07%.
- The smoothed health index is running at 119.39 points in August.
- The high inflation this month, as in recent months, is largely due to high energy prices. Energy currently has an inflation rate of 49.81% and accounts for 4.43 percentage points of the total inflation.
- Furthermore, inflation for food products has also sharply increased in recent months. Inflation for food products (including alcoholic beverages) stands at 9.71% this month, The contribution of food products to inflation currently amounts to 1.92 percentage points.
- Core inflation, which does not take into account price evolutions of energy products and unprocessed food, stands at 5.74% in August, compared to 5.49% in July. This is a result of increased inflation for processed food and services.
- The main price increases in August concerned electricity, natural gas, bread and cereals, clothing, confectionery, alcoholic beverages, hotel rooms, meat and personal care products. However, motor fuels, domestic heating oil and fruit had a downward effect on the index.
The inflation rate in August was 9.94% compared to 9.62% in July and 9.65% in June. Inflation based on the health index amounted to 9.70% this month compared to 9.07% in July and 8.72% in June. Inflation without energy rose to 5.99% compared to 5.76% in July and 5.26% in June. Core inflation, which does not take into account price evolutions of energy products and unprocessed food, was 5.74% in August, compared to 5.49% in July and 5.07% in June.
Inflation for services has risen from 5.08% to 5.36%. Inflation for rents remained almost unchanged, going from 3.74% to 3.73%. Inflation for food products (including alcoholic beverages) stands at 9.71% this month, compared to 9.24% last month. This inflation rate has risen sharply in recent months. In November last year, it was still 0.47%. In particular, inflation for oils, fish, dairy products, bread and cereals and meat has sharply increased in recent months. Inflation for oils stands this month at 21.3%. In November, it was still 3.6%. For fish, inflation is now 13.2% compared to -0.4% in November. Inflation for dairy products amounts to 12.4% this month compared to 0.6% in November. For bread and cereals, it stands this month at 12.7% compared to 1.7% in November. Inflation for meat amounts this month to 10.2% compared to 0.8% in November.
The sharp increase in inflation since autumn 2021 is largely due to energy products. Energy inflation is now running at 49.81%, compared to 49.11% last month and 55.99% in June. Electricity is now 57.2% more expensive than a year ago. Natural gas is 106.9% more expensive than in August last year. The price of domestic heating oil, calculated based on a smoothed 12-month moving average, has increased by 52.6% in one year. Motor fuels are 21.0% more expensive than last year.
The high inflation is mainly due to the high energy prices. Energy currently has an inflation rate of 49.81% and accounts for 4.43 percentage points of the total inflation. Food, with an inflation rate of 9.71%, contributes 1.92 percentage points.
The price of natural gas has increased by 12.3% on average compared to the previous month. Prices for electricity have gone up by 11.5% on average this month.
Some products and services that rose sharply in price compared to August last year are:
|Domestic heating oil||52.6%|
|Other edible oils than olive oil (including frying oil)||29.3%|
Some products and services that fell sharply in price compared to August last year are:
|Mobile telephone services||-4.9%|
|Recording media (a.o. memory card)||-2.7%|
|Accessories for audio and video equipment (including headphones)||-2.1%|
|Other information processing equipment (e.g. smart watch)||-1.8%|
The main group with the largest upward effect[i] on inflation in August is ‘Housing, water and energy’ with an effect on inflation of 3.13 percentage points. The largest downward effect was measured for “Clothing and footwear” with -0.60 percentage points.
The main group with the largest contribution[ii] to inflation is ‘Housing, water and energy’ with 4.26 percentage points. The lowest contribution to inflation comes from the group ‘Clothing and footwear’, with 0.00 percentage points.
The first inflation estimate according to the European harmonised index of consumer prices (HICP flash estimate) for Belgium amounts to 10.5% for August 2022.
Comment on the level of the indices
The consumer price index has increased by 1.00 point or 0.81% in August 2022 and now amounts to 124.05 points, compared to 123.05 points in July 2022 (2013=100). The health index has gained 1.33 point to 123.68 points in August, compared to 122.35 points in July. The smoothed health index is running at 119.39 points in August. The next central index for public service and social benefits is set at 120.73 points.
The main price increases in August concerned electricity, natural gas, bread and cereals, clothing, confectionery, alcoholic beverages, hotel rooms, meat and personal care products. However, motor fuels, domestic heating oil and fruit had a downward effect on the index.
The most important trends this month are:
|Electricity||+0.500 points||Motor fuels||-0.325 points|
|Natural gas||+0.310 points||Domestic heating oil||-0.130 points|
|Bread and cereals||+0.115 points||Fruit||-0.050 points|
|Alcoholic beverages||+0.080 points|
|Hotel rooms||+0.065 points|
|Personal care||+0.045 points|
Electricity became on average 11.5% more expensive in August. Prices for natural gas have gone up by 12.3% on average this month. Bread and cereals rose in price by an average of 3.1% this month. The price of clothing has gone up by 1.8% on average this month. In August, sugar confectionery prices rose by an average of 6.1%. Alcoholic beverages were on average 3.9% more expensive this month. The price of hotel rooms increased by 7.7% in August. Meat has become on average 0.9% more expensive. Prices for personal care products have increased on average by 1.4% this month.
Motor fuels have become on average 6.5% less expensive this month. The price of domestic heating oil, calculated based on a smoothed 12-month moving average, fell 8.0% on average. In August, fruit registered an average price decrease of 2.8%.
|2013 = 100||May||June||July||August|
|Consumer price index||121.01||122.04||123.05||124.05|
|Smoothed health index*||117.02||117.58||118.39||119.39|
|* defined in the law of 23 April 2015 on the promotion of employment (Belgian Official Journal of 27 April 2015)|
[i] The 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.