Consumer price index of March 2018
- Inflation decreased from 1.48 % to 1.39 % in March.
- Inflation is at its lowest level since February 2016, when it also amounted to 1.39 %.
- The consumer price index has increased by 0.15 point or 0.14 % this month.
- Inflation based on the health index has declined from 1.41 % to 1.32 %.
- The smoothed health index stood at 104.31 points in March.
- The main upward pressure in March came from fruit, travels abroad, tobacco, bread and cereals, sugar, chocolate and jam. However, motor fuels, holiday villages, hotel rooms, natural gas and flowers and plants have had a decreasing effect on the index.
The consumer price index stood at 106.37 points in March 2018. It has increased by 0.15 point over the month. Inflation has dropped from 1.48 % to 1.39 %. The health index has gained 0.17 point to 106.71 points. Inflation based on the health index has decreased from 1.41 % to 1.32 %. The main upward pressure in March came from fruit, travels abroad, tobacco, bread and cereals, sugar, chocolate and jam. These increases were mainly offset by price decreases for motor fuels, holiday villages, hotel rooms, natural gas and flowers and plants.
The consumer price index rose by 0.15 point or 0.14 % in March 2018 and now stands at 106.37 points, compared to 106.22 points in February 2018 (2013=100).
The health index has gone up by 0.17 point to 106.71 points in March, compared to 106.54 points in February. The smoothed health index stood at 104.31 points in March. The central index for public service and social benefits, set at 105.10 points, has not been exceeded. The last time the central index was exceeded was in May 2017.
Products with the largest increasing effect in March were fruit, travels abroad, tobacco, bread and cereals, sugar, chocolate and jam. Motor fuels, holiday villages, hotel rooms, natural gas and flowers and plants provided the largest downward pressure compared to last month. The most important trends this month are:
|Fruit||+0.090 point||Motor fuels||-0.035 point|
|Travels abroad||+0.050 point||Holiday villages||-0.035 point|
|Tobacco||+0.025 point||Hotel rooms||-0.025 point|
|Bread and cereals||+0.025 point||Natural gas||-0.025 point|
|Sugar, chocolate and jam||+0.025 point||Flowers and plants||-0.020 point|
Prices of fruit have increased on average by 6.8 %. Prices for travels abroad have increased by 3.1 % compared to the previous month. Tobacco is on average 2.7 % more expensive in March. Prices of bread and cereals have increased on average by 0.8 %. Sugar, chocolate and jam have become on average 2.3 % more expensive.
Motor fuels have been on average 0.9 % less expensive compared to the previous month. Holiday villages have become 4.8 % cheaper in March. Prices for hotel rooms have decreased on average by 3.2 % in March. Natural gas has become 1.3 % less expensive in March. Prices for flowers and plants have decreased on average by 3.9 % this month, as a result of the increase last month due to Valentine's day.
Inflation now stands at 1.39 % compared to 1.48 % last month and 1.71 % in January. Inflation based on the health index amounted to 1.32 % this month compared to 1.41 % in February and 1.64 % in January. Inflation without energy amounts to 1.42 % in March. It remains stable compared to February and has decreased compared to January (1.55 %). Core inflation, which does not take into account price evolutions of energy products and unprocessed food, was running at 1.57 % in March, compared to 1.60 % in February and 1.65 % in January.
Food inflation now stands at 1.72 %, compared to 1.43 % last month and 2.20 % in January. Fresh fruit now costs 2.3 % more than in March 2017. Fresh vegetables are cheaper: 11.7 % on an annual basis. Fish and shellfish are 3.9 % more expensive than a year ago. Oils and fats are 8.9 % more expensive than last year. Especially the price of butter is higher (inflation of 14.4 %). Prices for non-alcoholic beverages are now 2.8 % higher than in March 2017. For alcoholic beverages, consumers now have to pay 2.5 % more than a year ago. Tobacco prices have gone up by 6.5 % compared to March last year. Energy inflation is now running at 1.11 %, down from 2.03 % last month and 2.99 % in January. Electricity is now 2.1 % less expensive than a year ago. Natural gas is 1.7 % more expensive than in March last year. Prices for domestic heating oil, calculated based on a smoothed 12-month moving average, have increased by 9.2 % in a year. Motor fuels are 1.8 % more expensive than last year. Inflation for services has gone down to 1.85 % from 2.00 %. Inflation for rents has slightly increased and now stands at 0.98 %, compared to 0.96 % in February.
The main group with the largest upward effect on inflation in March was "Hotels, cafés and restaurants" with an effect of 0.09 percentage point. The largest downward effect was measured for the group "Interior decoration and household appliances" (-0.09 percentage point).
The main group with the largest contribution to inflation is "Food and non-alcoholic beverages" with 0.28 percentage point. The lowest contribution to inflation was registered by the main group "communication", with -0.01 percentage point.
|2013 = 100||December 2017||January 2018||February 2018||March 2018|
|Consumer price index||105.75||106.06||106.22||106.37|
|Inflation||2.13 %||1.71 %||1.48 %||1.39 %|
|Smoothed health index*||103.72||103.93||104.10||104.31|
|* defined in the law of 23 April 2015 on the promotion of employment (Belgian Official Journal of 27 April 2015)|