Inflation amounts to 0.76%
Consumer price index of November 2023
- In November, inflation increased from 0.36% to 0.76%.
- The consumer price index this month increases by 0.22 points or 0.17%.
- Inflation based on the health index has increased from 0.30% to 0.87%.
- The smoothed health index amounted to 125.73 points in November.
- Inflation for food products has sharply increased in the past year. Inflation for food products (including alcoholic beverages) stands at 8.22% this month, compared to 8.98% in October. The contribution of food products to inflation currently amounts to 1.58 percentage points.
- Core inflation, which does not take into account price evolutions of energy products and unprocessed food, stood at 5.95% in November, compared to 6.55% in October.
- The most significant price increases in November concerned alcoholic beverages, natural gas, non-alcoholic beverages, travels abroad and city trips, vegetables, electricity and fruit. However, motor fuels, hotel rooms, the purchase of vehicles, domestic heating oil and dairy products had a downward effect on the index.
Inflation is now running at 0.76%, compared to 0.36% in October and 2.39% in September. Inflation based on the health index amounted to 0.87% this month compared to 0.30% in October and 2.08% in September. Inflation without energy fell to 6.22% compared to 6.81% in October and 7.34% in September. Core inflation, which does not take into account price evolutions of energy products and unprocessed food, stood at 5.95% in November, compared to 6.55% in October and 6.95% in September.
Comment on inflation
With regard to energy, we have seen since February 2023 a negative inflation. It now stands at -32.90%, compared to -37.15% last month and -28.73% in September. For electricity, inflation is currently at -42.1% compared to -50.7% last month. It was still 35.5% in December. For natural gas, it went from -77.0% last month to -71.2% this month. In December, it was still 73.1%. Compared to the previous month, prices for natural gas increased by 10.8% and those for electricity by 1.7%. The price of domestic heating oil, calculated based on a smoothed 12-month moving average, has increased by 5.9% in one year. This sharp increase is the result of the end of the impact on the CPI of the federal premium of 300 euros for households using domestic heating oil. Motor fuels cost 8.1% less than in November last year and decreased by 4.5% this month compared to the previous month.
Inflation for services has declined to 6.65% from 7.09%. Inflation for rents has decreased from 5.84% to 5.67%. Inflation for food products (including alcoholic beverages) stands at 8.22% this month, compared to 8.98% last month. This inflation rate has increased sharply since the beginning of 2022 to reach its highest point in March 2023 at 17.02%. Since then it has gradually decreased ot the level of 8.22% this November.
In particular, inflation for oils, fish, dairy products, bread and cereals and meat has sharply increased in the past year. Inflation for oils amounted to 6.8% this month. For fish, inflation is now 8.6%. Inflation for dairy products amounts to 8.9% this month. That of bread and cereals is 8.0%. Inflation for meat amounts to 7.1% in November.
The decrease in inflation in recent months is associated with lower energy prices. Energy inflation goes from -37.15% in October 2023 to -32.90% in November 2023 and accounts for -4.59 percentage points to total inflation. Food, with an inflation rate of 8.22%, accounts for 1.58 percentage points.
The price of natural gas has increased by 10.8% compared to the previous month. Prices for electricity have gone up by 1.7% on average this month.
Some products and services that rose sharply in price compared to November last year are:
|Other tobacco products (loose tobacco)||16.2%|
|Other meats (rabbit, game, …)||15.0%|
Some products and services that fell sharply in price compared to November last year are:
|Other fuels (LPG)||-7.3%|
|Pre-recorded recording media (Blu-ray, dvd)||-7.2%|
|Accessories for computers||-6.0%|
|Video equipment (television)||-5.1%|
The main group with the largest upward effect [i] on inflation in November was "Food and non-alcoholic beverages" with an effect of 1.61 percentage points. The largest downward effect was measured for “Housing, water and energy” with -4.79 percentage points.
The main group with the largest contribution [ii] to inflation is "Food and non-alcoholic beverages" with 1.46 percentage points. The lowest contribution to inflation was registered by the main group “Housing, water and energy”, with -3.64 percentage points.
The first inflation estimate according to the European harmonised index of consumer prices (HICP flash estimate) for Belgium amounts to -0.7% in November 2023.
Comment on the level of the indices
The consumer price index has increased by 0.22 points or 0.17% in November 2023 and now amounts to 128.89 points, compared to 128.67 points in October 2023 (2013=100). The health index has gone up by 0.25 points to 128.55 points in November, compared to 128.30 points in October. The smoothed health index amounted to 125.73 points in November. The next central index for public service and social benefits is set at 128.11 points.
The most significant price increases in November concerned alcoholic beverages, natural gas, non-alcoholic beverages, travels abroad and city trips, vegetables, electricity and fruit. However, motor fuels, hotel rooms, the purchase of vehicles, domestic heating oil and dairy products had a downward effect on the index.
The most important trends this month are:
|Alcoholic beverages||+0.210 points||Motor fuels||-0.245 points|
|Natural gas||+0.120 points||Hotel rooms||-0.070 points|
|Non-alcoholic beverages||+0.070 points||Purchase of vehicles||-0.060 points|
|Travels abroad and city trips||+0.065 points||Domestic heating oil||-0.055 points|
|Vegetables||+0.060 points||Dairy products||-0.045 points|
Prices of alcoholic beverages have gone up on average by 9.8% this month. Prices for natural gas increased by 10.8% on average. Non-alcoholic beverages were on average 3.2% more expensive. Travels abroad and city trips were on average 2.8% more expensive than last month. The price of vegetables has increased by 2.3% in November. The price for electricity has increased by 1.7%. Finally, fruit is 2.2% more expensive than last month.
On average, motor fuels cost 4.5% less in November. Hotel rooms have become on average 7.3% less expensive. The purchase of vehicles became 0.7% less expensive. Domestic heating oil prices went down by 2.8% in November. Dairy products have become 1.5% less expensive compared to last month.
|2013 = 100||August||September||October||November|
|Consumer price index||129.12||128.23||128.67||128.89|
|Smoothed health index*||125.31||125.35||125.65||125.73|
|* 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.
Purpose and brief description
The consumer price index is an economic indicator whose main task is to objectively reflect the price evolution over time for a basket of goods and services purchased by households and considered representative of their consumer habits. The index does not necessarily measure the price level of this basket for a specific period of time, but rather the fluctuation between two periods, the first one acting as basis for comparison. Moreover, this difference in the price level is not measured in absolute, but in relative terms. The consumer price index can be determined as a hundred times the ratio between the observed prices of a range of goods and services at a given time and the prices of the same goods and services, observed under the same circumstances during the reference period, chosen as basis for comparison. Price observations always take place in the same regions.
Since 2014, the consumer price index has been a chain index in which the weighting reference period is regularly shifted and prices and quantities are no longer compared between the current period and a fixed reference period, but the current period is compared with an intermediate period. By multiplying these short-term indices, and so creating a chain, we get a long-term series with a fixed reference period.
Belgian private households
Data collection method and possible sampling
Survey technique applied using a computer, based on the use of electronic questionnaires and laptops.
Timing of publication
The results are available on the penultimate working day of the reference period.
Weight (CPI): The weight represents the importance of the goods and services included in the CPI in the total expenditure patterns of the households. Weights are determined based on the household budget survey.
Consumer price index (CPI): The consumer price index is an economic indicator whose main task is to objectively reflect the price evolution over time for a basket of goods and services purchased by households and considered representative of their consumer habits.
Health index: The health index is derived from the consumer price index and has been published since January 1994. The current value of this index is determined by removing a number of products from the consumer price index product basket, in particular alcoholic beverages (bought in a shop or consumed in a bar), tobacco products and motor fuels except for LPG.
Inflation: Inflation is defined as the ratio between the value of the consumer price index of a given month and the index of the same month the year before. Therefore, inflation measures the rhythm of the evolution of the overall price level.
Consumer price index without petroleum products: This index is calculated by removing the following products from the consumer price index: butane, propane, liquid fuels and motor fuels.
Consumer price index without energy products: This index is calculated by removing the following products from the consumer price index: electricity, natural gas, butane, propane, liquid fuels, solid fuels and motor fuels.
Smoothed index: The smoothed health index, also called smoothed index (the average value of the health indexes of the last 4 months) is used as a basis for the indexation of retirement pensions, social security benefits and some salaries and wages. Public wages and social benefits are indexed as soon as the smoothed index reaches a given value, called the central index. The smoothed index is also called moving average.
In order to perform a 2% index jump (laid down in the Law of 23 April 2015 on employment promotion), the smoothed health index has been temporarily blocked at its value of March 2015 (100.66). The smoothed health index was then reduced by 2% from April 2015. When the reduced smoothed health index (also called the reference index) had increased again by 2% or in other words when it had exceeded the value of 100.66, the index was no longer blocked. It occurred in April 2016.
Since April 2016 the smoothed health index is calculated in the same manner as the reference index and therefore corresponds to the arithmetical mean of the health indexes of the last 4 months multiplied by a factor of 0.98.
The central index is a predetermined threshold value against which the smoothed health index is compared. If the central index is reached or exceeded, there is an indexation of the wages and salaries or benefits. This indexation is proportional to the percentage between the old and the new central index. For the public sector and social benefits, the difference between the central indices always amounts to 2 %. Therefore, a 2 % indexation is applied every time the central index is reached. There are also collective labour agreements according to which the difference between the central indices amounts to 1 % or 1.5 %. The reaching of a central index then leads to an indexation of 1 % or 1,5 %.
See also: https://bosa.belgium.be/nl/themas/werken-bij-de-overheid/verloning-en-voordelen/loonwedde/indexatie/indexatie-algemene
And : https://bosa.belgium.be/fr/themes/travailler-dans-la-fonction-publique/remuneration-et-avantages/traitement/indexation-0
An 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).
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.
- Monthly survey of consumer prices by surveyors in stores.pdf
- Enquête 'Private huur'.pdf
- Enquête 'sociale huur'.pdf