Consumer price index - April 2022
- Inflation remains stable at 8.31% in April just like in March.
- Inflation stops rising for the first time since January 2021.
- The consumer price index increases by 0.40 point or 0.33% this month.
- Inflation based on the health index has risen from 7.68% to 7.81%.
- The smoothed health index amounted to 116.52 points in April. The central index for public service and social benefits, set at 116.04 points, has been exceeded.
- The high inflation this month is mainly due, as in recent months, to high energy prices. Energy inflation is now running at 54.11% and has an impact of 4.57 percentage points on overall inflation.
- Core inflation, which does not take into account price evolutions of energy products and unprocessed food, stands at 4.08% in April, compared to 3.75% in March.
- The most significant price increases in April were registered for meat, bread and cereals, purchase of vehicles, hotel rooms, vegetables as well as maintenance and repair of motor vehicles. However, motor fuels, natural gas, clothes and bundled telecommunication services have had a decreasing effect on the index.
Inflation stands at 8.31% just like in March, compared to 8.04% in February. Inflation based on the health index amounted to 7.81% this month compared to 7.68% in March and 7.56% in February. Inflation without energy increased to 4.06% in April, compared to 3.80% in March and 3.28% in February. Core inflation, which does not take into account price evolutions of energy products and unprocessed food, stood at 4.08% in April, compared to 3.75% in March and 3.28% in February.
Inflation for services has increased to 3.96% from 3.78%. Inflation for rents has decreased to 2.62% from 2.64%. Inflation for food products (including alcoholic beverages) now stands at 5.09% compared to 4.63% last month.
Food inflation (including alcoholic drinks) has risen sharply in recent months, in November it still stood at 0.47%. Inflation for bread, cereals and other edible oils (including frying oils) in particular has risen sharply in recent months. For instance, this month the inflation rate for bread stands at 10.2%, whereas in November it was 1.7%. For cereals, it is now 9.3% compared to 0.6% in November. For the other edible oils, the inflation rate this month stands at 25.4%, compared to 13.1% in November.
The sharp rise in inflation in recent months is due to high energy prices. Energy inflation is now running at 54.11%, compared to 57.22% last month and 60.99% in February. Electricity is now 49.7% more expensive than a year ago. Natural gas is 139.6% more expensive than in June last year. Prices for domestic heating oil, calculated based on a smoothed 12-month moving average, have increased by 57.8% in a year. Motor fuels are now 27.7% more expensive than a year ago.
The high inflation is mainly due to high energy prices. Energy inflation is now running at 54.11% and has an impact of 4.57 percentage points on overall inflation.
Natural gas has decreased by 3.5% compared to the previous month as a result of the temporary reduction of VAT on natural gas and the heating bonus. Prices of electricity have increased on average by 0.1%.
Some products and services that rose sharply in price compared to April last year are:
|Other fuels (LPG):||75.1%|
|Domestic heating oil||57.8%|
|Liquefied petroleum gas (propane)||34.7%|
|Edible oils other than olive oil||25.4%|
Some products and services that dropped sharply in price compared to April last year are:
|Other recording media (e.g. memory card):||-7.8%|
|Other information processing equipment (e.g. smartwatch)||-6.9%|
The main group with the largest upward effect[i] on inflation in February was “Housing, water and energy” with an effect of 3.25 percentage point. The largest downward effect was measured for “Food and non-alcoholic beverages” (-0.65 percentage point).
The main group with the largest contribution[ii] to inflation is “Housing, water and energy” with 4.08 percentage point. The lowest contribution to inflation was registered by the main groups "Clothing" and "Communication", with 0.00 percentage point.
The first inflation estimate according to the European harmonised index of consumer prices (HICP flash estimate) for Belgium amounts to 9.3% for April 2022, also stable compared to March. 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 rose by 0.40 point or 0.33% in April 2022 and now stands at 120.09 points, compared to 119.69 points in March 2022 (2013=100). The health index has increased by 0.54 point to 119.59 points in April, compared to 119.05 points in March. The smoothed health index amounted to 116.52 points in April. The central index for public service and social benefits, set at 116.04 points, has been exceeded. This means that social security benefits and pensions will rise by 2 % in May. Wages in the public sector will rise by 2 % in June. 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 February 2022. The next central index for public service and social benefits is set at 118.36 points.
The largest upward pressure in March came from meat, bread and cereals, purchase of vehicles, hotel rooms, vegetables as well as maintenance and repair of motor vehicles. However, motor fuels, natural gas, clothes and bundled telecommunication services have had a decreasing effect on the index.
The most important trends this month are:
|Meat||+0.130 point||Motor fuels||-0.150 point|
|Bread and cereals||+0.100 point||Natural gas||-0.095 point|
|Purchase of vehicles||+0.085 point||Clothes||-0.075 point|
|Hotel rooms||+0.075 point||Bundled telecommunication services||-0.040 point|
|Maintenance and repair of motor vehicles||+0.035 point|
Meat is on average 2.9% more expensive this month. Bread and cereals were on average 2.9% more expensive this month. The purchase of vehicles has become on average 1.1% more expensive this month. Hotel rooms were on the rise by 10.6% on average this month. Vegetables are also rising in price by 3.1% on average in April. Maintenance and repair of motor vehicles cost 1.0% more this month.
Motor fuels cost on average 3.1% less. Natural gas experienced a decrease in price by 3.5% on average. Prices dropped by 1.2 % on average for clothes. Bundled telecommunication services have become on average 1.4% less expensive.
|2013 = 100||January||February||March||April|
|Consumer price index||118.32||119.07||119.69||120.09|
|Smoothed health index*||113.42||114.60||115.54||116.52|
|* 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.