Consumer price index of May 2022
- Inflation rose from 8.31% to 8.97% in May, reaching its highest level since August 1982, when it stood at 9.02%.
- The consumer price index this month increases by 0.92 points or 0.77%.
- Inflation based on the health index goes from 7.81% to 8.34%.
- The smoothed health index amounts to 117.02 points in May.
- The high inflation this month, as in recent months, is largely due to high energy prices. Energy currently has an inflation rate of 56.80% and accounts for 4.80 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 6.32% this month, compared to 5.09% last month. The contribution of food products to inflation currently amounts to 1.26 percentage points.
- Core inflation, which does not take into account price evolutions of energy products and unprocessed food, stands at 4.43% in May, compared to 4.08% in April.
- The most significant price increases in May were registered for motor fuels, electricity, private rent, domestic heating oil, restaurants and cafés, milk, cheese and eggs, the purchase of vehicles, alcoholic beverages, travels abroad and city trips and fish and seafood. However, natural gas and chlothing have had a decreasing effect on the index.
Inflation in May stands at 8.97%. This is an increase compared to March and April, when it was 8.31%. Inflation based on the health index amounts to 8.34% this month compared to 7.81% in April and 7.68% in March. Inflation without energy has increased to 4.53% in May compared to 4.06% last month and 3.80% in March. Core inflation, which does not take into account price evolutions of energy products and unprocessed food, amounts to 4.43% in May, compared to 4.08% in April and 3.75% in March.
Inflation for services has risen from 3.96% to 4.31%. Inflation for rents increased from 2.62% to 2.93%. Inflation for food products (including alcoholic beverages) stands at 6.32% this month, compared to 5.09% last month. Inflation for food products (including alcoholic beverages) has sharply increased in recent months. In November, it was still only 0.47%. Inflation for bread, cereals and other edible oils (including frying oil) in particular has sharply increased these past few months. For example, inflation for bread stands at 11.8% this month, while it was still 1.7% in November. For flour and cereals, it now stands at 11.9% compared to 0.6% in November. Inflation for other edible oils amounts to 26.5% this month compared to 13.1% in November.
The sharp increase in inflation in recent months is largely due to energy products. Energy inflation is now running at 56.80%, against 54.11% last month and 57.22% in March. Electricity is now 54.44% more expensive than a year ago. Natural gas is 130.60% more expensive than in May last year. Prices for domestic heating oil, calculated based on a smoothed 12-month moving average, have increased by 61.22% in one year. Motor fuels are 31.95% more expensive than last year.
The high inflation is mainly due to the high energy prices. Energy currently has an inflation rate of 56.80% and accounts for 4.80 percentage points of the total inflation.
The price of natural gas has decreased by 2.03% on average compared to the previous month. Prices for electricity have gone up by 3.17% on average this month.
Some products and services that rose sharply in price compared to May last year are:
|Other fuels (LPG)||64.2%|
|Domestic heating oil||61.2%|
|Other edible oils (including frying oil)||26.5%|
Some products and services that fell sharply in price compared to May last year are:
|Other information processing equipment (e.g. smart watch)||-6.9%|
|Recording media (a.o. memory card)||-6.7%|
|Mobile telephone services||-3.0%|
The main group with the largest upward effect[i] on inflation in May was ‘housing, water, energy’ with an effect on inflation of 3.26 percentage points. The largest downward effect was measured for ‘Clothing’ with -0.59 percentage points.
The main group with the largest contribution[ii] to inflation is ‘housing, water and energy’ with 4.20 percentage points. The lowest contribution to inflation comes from the group ‘Clothing’, with -0.04 percentage points.
The first inflation estimate according to the European harmonised index of consumer prices (HICP flash estimate) for Belgium amounts to 9.9% for May 2022. The difference in inflation between the CPI and the HICP is mainly due to another calculation method for domestic heating oil.
Comment on the level of the indices
The consumer price index has increased by 0.92 points or 0.77% in May 2022 and now amounts to 121.01 points, compared to 120.09 points in April 2022 (2013=100). The health index has gone up by 0.66 points to 120.25 points in May, compared to 119.59 points in April. The smoothed health index amounts to 117.02 points in May. The next central index for public service and social benefits is set at 118.36 points.
The most significant price increases in May were registered for motor fuels, electricity, private rent, domestic heating oil, restaurants and cafés, milk, cheese and eggs, the purchase of vehicles, alcoholic beverages, travels abroad and city trips and fish and seafood. However, natural gas and chlothing have had a decreasing effect on the index.
The most important trends this month are:
|Motor fuels||+0.225 points||Natural gas||-0.055 points|
|Electricity||+0.135 points||Clothing||-0.050 points|
|Private rent||+0.080 points|
|Domestic heating oil||+0.075 points|
|Restaurants and cafés||+0.070 points|
|Milk, cheese and eggs||+0.070 points|
|Purchase of vehicles||+0.065 points|
|Alcoholic beverages||+0.060 points|
|Travels abroad and city trips||+0.055 points|
|Fish and seafood||+0.055 points|
Motor fuels became on average 4.8% more expensive. Prices for electricity have gone up by 3.2% on average this month. Private rents increased on average by 0.9% this month. Domestic heating oil prices have gone up by 5.3% on average this month. In May, restaurants and cafés registered an average price increase of 0.9%. Milk, cheese and eggs cost this month on average 2.9% more. The purchase of vehicles became on average 0.8% more expensive this month. Alcoholic beverages were on average 2.9% more expensive in May. The price of travels abroad and city trips has increased this month by 2.7% on average. Fish and seafood have become on average 4.2% more expensive.
Natural gas has become on average 2.0% less expensive and prices for clothing have decreased by 1.0% on average.
|2013 = 100||February||March||April||May|
|Consumer price index||119.07||119.69||120.09||121.01|
|Smoothed health index*||114.60||115.54||116.52||117.02|
|* 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.