Consumer price index

Inflation down from 2.33 % to 2.08 %

Consumer prices
Inflation down from 2.33 % to 2.08 %

Consumer price index of April 2019

  • Inflation decreases from 2.33 % to 2.08 % in April.
  • The consumer price index this month increases by 0.06 point or 0.06 %.
  • Inflation based on the health index has declined from 2.18 % to 1.96 %.
  • The smoothed health index stands at 106.65 points in April.
  • The most significant price increases in April have been registered for airplane tickets, hotel rooms, motor fuels, vegetables, alcoholic beverages, holiday villages and maintenance and repair of personal transport equipment. However, electricity, natural gas, travels abroad and fruit have had a decreasing effect on the index.

The consumer price index stands at 108.91 points in April 2019. It has increased by 0.06 point over the month. Inflation has dropped from 2.33 % to 2.08 %. The health index has decreased by 0.06 point this month and now stands at 108.98 points. Inflation based on the health index has fallen to 1.96 % from 2.18 %. The most significant price decreases this month were registered for electricity, natural gas, travels abroad and fruit. These decreases have been mainly offset by increasing prices for airplane tickets, hotel rooms, motor fuels, vegetables, alcoholic beverages, holiday villages and maintenance and repair of personal transport equipment.

The consumer price index has increased by 0.06 point or 0.06 % in April 2019 and now stands at 108.91 points, against 108.85 points in March 2019 (2013=100).

CPI_1graph201904_en.png

The health index has decreased by 0.06 points to 108.98 points in April, compared to 109.04 points in March. The smoothed health index stands at 106.65 points in April. The central index for public service and social benefits, set at 107.20 points, has therefore not been reached. The last time the central index was exceeded was in August 2018.

The largest upward pressure in April came from airplane tickets, hotel rooms, motor fuels, vegetables, alcoholic beverages, holiday villages and maintenance and repair of personal transport equipment. However, electricity, natural gas, travels abroad and fruit provided the largest downward pressure compared to last month. The most important trends this month are:

Upward: Effect: Downward: Effect:
Airplane tickets +0.075 point Electricity -0.150 point
Hotel rooms +0.070 point Natural gas -0.105 point
Motor fuels +0.065 point Travels abroad -0.050 point
Vegetables +0.055 point Fruit -0.045 point
Alcoholic beverages +0.035 point    
Holiday villages +0.030 point    
Maintenance and repair of personal transport equipment +0.030 point    

Airplane tickets have become 12.7 % more expensive compared to last month. Prices for hotel rooms have increased on average by 9.6 % this month. Motor fuels have become on average 1.7 % more expensive. Prices for vegetables have increased on average by 3.0 % in April. Alcoholic beverages were on average 2.1 % more expensive. Prices of holiday villages this month have gone up by 3.8 % on average compared to last month. Prices of maintenance and repair of personal transport equipment climbed by 0.8 %.

Electricity has become 3.7 % less expensive compared to last month. Prices for natural gas have fallen by 5.7 % on average. Travels abroad have become 2.9 % less expensive compared to last month. Fruit has become on average 3.1 % less expensive.

Inflation now stands at 2.08 % compared to 2.33 % in March and 2.17 % in February. Inflation based on the health index amounted to 1.96 % this month compared to 2.18 % in March and 2.10 % in February. Inflation without energy has decreased to 1.57 % in April from 1.61 % in March and 1.60 % in February. Core inflation, which does not take into account price evolutions of energy products and unprocessed food, stands at 1.67 % in April, compared to 1.66 % in March and 1.58 % in February.

Food inflation stands at 0.33 %, down from 1.09 % in the previous month and 1.50 % in February. Fresh fruit now costs 2.1 % less than in April 2018. Fresh vegetable prices are on the rise: 2.1 % on an annual basis. Fish and shellfish are 0.6 % less expensive than a year ago. Non-alcoholic beverages are 0.4 % cheaper and alcoholic beverages are 1.4 % more expensive than in April last year. Tobacco prices have gone up by 4.3 % compared to April last year. Energy inflation is now running at 6.50 %, compared to 8.77 % last month and 7.14 % in February. Electricity is now 6.3 % more expensive than a year ago. Natural gas is 0.8 % more expensive than in April last year. Prices for domestic heating oil, calculated based on a smoothed 12-month moving average, have increased by 17.9 % in one year. Motor fuels are 5.1 % more expensive than last year. Inflation for services has gone up to 2.69 % from 2.29 %. Inflation for rents has decreased and now stands at 0.91 %, compared to 0.96 % in March.

The following products and services have registered the sharpest price increases compared to last year in April:

Upward: Inflation:
Wine from other fruits (cider) 23.4%
Holiday villages 22.2%
Domestic heating oil 17.9%
Newspapers 16.0%
Postal mail 12.5%
Potatoes 11.7%
Transport by airplane 10.3%
Hotels 9.5%
Mutton and lamb 9.5%
Parkings 8.8%
Other tobacco products (e.g. loose tobacco) 7.2%
Other fuels (LPG) 7.1%

The following products and services have registered the sharpest price decreases compared to last year in April:

Downward: Inflation:
Eggs -13.8%
Non-electrical appliances for personal care -7.4%
Fresh shellfish -5.7%
Other information processing equipment (e.g. smart watch) -5.4%
Frozen shellfish -4.1%
Smoked fish and shellfish -3.7%
Dried vegetables, other preserved or processed vegetables -3.5%
Jams, marmalades and honey -3.4%
Preserved fruit and fruit-based products -3.4%
Other edible oils -3.0%
Cocoa and powdered chocolate -2.9%
Olive oil -2.8%

The main group with the largest [i] on inflation in April was "housing, water, energy" with an effect on inflation of 0.30 percentage point. The largest downward effect was measured for "food and non-alcoholic beverages" (-0.37 percentage point).

CPI_2graph201904_en.png

The main group with the largest contribution[ii] to inflation is “housing, water and energy” with 0.62 percentage point. The lowest contribution to inflation was registered by the main groups “health”, “communication” and “education”, with 0.01 percentage point.

CPI_3graph201904_en.png

CPI_4graph201904_en.png

2013 = 100 January February March April
Consumer price index 108.17 108.52 108.85 108.91
Inflation 1.99% 2.17% 2.33% 2.08%
Health index 108.50 108.78 109.04 108.98
Smoothed health index* 106.25 106.38 106.52 106.65
* defined in the law of 23 April 2015 on the promotion of employment (Belgian Official Journal of 27 April 2015)

[i] 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).

[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.

Indices
Content

Consumer price index, inflation, health index, health index (moving average), index without energy and petroleum, last 13 months

be.STAT logoAccess to latest statistics

Chart
Content
Base year
Inflation
Chart
Content
4 groups
Chart
Content

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.

Population

Belgian private households

Data collection method and possible sampling

Survey technique applied using a computer, based on the use of electronic questionnaires and laptops.

Frequency

Monthly.

Timing of publication

The results are available on the penultimate working day of the reference period.

Definitions

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 index is the arithmetic mean of the health index of the last 4 months. The smoothed index is used as basis for the indexation of retirement pensions, social allowances and some wages and salaries. The indexations of public services wages and social benefits are implemented when the smoothed index reaches a certain value, the so-called central index. When the smoothed index reaches the central index, the benefits increase by 2 % the following month. The wages in the public sector also increase by 2 % two months after the central index was reached.

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: http://www.wedden.fgov.be/indexation/default.htm
And: http://www.traitements.fgov.be/indexation/default.htm

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.

Metadata