Consumer price index of February 2022
- Inflation increases from 7.59% to 8.04% in February, which is the highest level since March 1983, when it was 8.92%.
- The consumer price index this month increases by 0.75 points or 0.63%.
- Inflation based on the health index goes from 7.12% to 7.56%.
- The smoothed health index stood at 114.60 points in February. The central index for public service and social benefits, set at 113.76 points, was therefore exceeded.
- The high inflation this month is due, as in recent months, to the high energy prices. Energy currently has an inflation rate of 60.99% and contributes 5.03 percentage points to the total inflation.
- Core inflation, which does not take into account price evolutions of energy products and unprocessed food, stood at 3.28% in February, compared to 2.98% in January.
- The most significant price increases in February were registered for motor fuels, electricity, alcoholic beverages, vegetables, fruit, domestic heating oil, flowers and plants and fish and seafood. However, natural gas has had a decreasing effect on the index.
Inflation now stands at 8.04% compared to 7.59% in January and 5.71% in December. Inflation based on the health index amounted to 7.56% this month compared to 7.12% in January and 5.21% in December. Inflation without energy has gone up to 3.28% in February compared to 2.85% last month and 2.35% in December. Core inflation, which does not take into account changes in the prices of energy products and unprocessed food, was running at 3.28% in February, compared to 2.98% in January and 2.53% in December.
Inflation for food products (including alcoholic beverages) stands at 3.84% this month, compared to 2.26% last month. Inflation for services has decreased to 3.20% from 3.35%. Inflation for rents has increased from 2.15% to 2.49%.
The sharp increase in inflation in recent months is due to energy products. Energy inflation now stands at 60.99%, compared to 60.86% in January and 41.98% in December. Electricity is now 72.8% more expensive than a year ago. Natural gas is 138.3% more expensive on an annual basis. Prices for domestic heating oil, calculated based on a smoothed 12-month moving average, have increased by 57.6% in one year. Motor fuels are 26.3% more expensive than last year.
The increase in inflation is due to the high energy prices. Energy currently has an inflation rate of 60.99% and contributes 5.03 percentage points to the total inflation.
The price of natural gas has decreased by 3.1% on average compared to the previous month. The price for electricity has increased by 2.5% on average.
Some products and services that rose sharply in price compared to February last year are:
|Domestic heating oil||57.6%|
|Other fuels (LPG)||38.4%|
|Edible oils other than olive oil||23.9%|
Some products and services that fell sharply in price compared to February last year are:
|Other information processing equipment (e.g. smart watch)||-10.0%|
|Recording media (a.o. memory card)||-7.4%|
|Toys and gaming||-3.6%|
|Mobile telephone services||-2.7%|
The main group with the largest upward effect[i] on inflation in February was ‘Housing, water, energy’ with an effect on inflation of 3.87 percentage points. The largest downward effect was measured for ‘Food and non-alcoholic beverages’ with -0.89 percentage points.
The main group with the largest contribution[ii] to inflation is ‘Housing, water and energy’ with 4.57 percentage points. The lowest contribution to inflation was registered by the main group ‘Communication’, with 0.00 percentage point.
Explanation of index levels
The consumer price index has risen by 0.75 points or 0.63% in February 2022 and is now running at 119.07 points, compared to 118.32 points in January 2022 (2013=100). The health index has gained 0.53 points to 118.74 points in February, compared to 118.21 points in January. The smoothed health index stood at 114.60 points in February. The central index for public service and social benefits, set at 113.76 points, was therefore exceeded. This means that social security benefits and pensions will be raised by 2% in March. Wages in the public sector will be raised by 2% in April. Wages and salaries in the private sector are also linked to the smoothed index, but the timing of indexation depends on the sectoral collective agreement. The last time the central index was exceeded was in December 2021. The next central index for public service and social benefits is set at 116.04 points.
Products with the largest increasing effect in February were motor fuels, electricity, alcoholic beverages, vegetables, fruit, domestic heating oil, flowers and plants and fish and seafood. However, natural gas has had a decreasing effect on the index. The most important trends this month are:
|Motor fuels||+0.155 points||Natural gas||-0.085 points|
|Alcoholic beverages||+0.120 points|
|Domestic heating oil||+0.070 points|
|Flowers and plants||+0.055 points|
|Fish and seafood||+0.050 points|
Motor fuels became on average 3.6% more expensive. Prices for electricity have gone up by 2.5% on average this month. Alcoholic beverages were on average 6.0% more expensive this month. Prices for vegetables have increased on average by 3.3%. Fruit became on average 4.5% more expensive. Domestic heating oil smoothed prices have gone up by 5.4% on average this month. Prices for flowers and plants were up on average by 8.9%. As in previous years, higher prices were registered especially for roses due to Valentine's Day. Fish and seafood have become on average 3.9% more expensive.
Natural gas has become on average 3.1% less expensive this month.
|2013 = 100||November||December||January||February|
|Consumer price index||115.63||115.74||118.32||119.07|
|Smoothed health index*||111.27||111.97||113.42||114.60|
|* 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 HICP).
[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.