Consumer price index

Inflation amounts to 11.27%

Consumer prices
Inflation amounts to 11.27%

Consumer price index - September 2022

  • Inflation went up in September from 9.94% to 11.27%, reaching its highest level since August 1975, when it stood at 11.42%.
  • The consumer price index this month increases by 1.19 points or 0.96%.
  • Inflation based on the health index has increased to 11.25% from 9.70%.
  • The smoothed health index stood at 120.53 points in September.
  • The high inflation this month, as in recent months, is largely due to high energy prices. Energy currently has an inflation rate of 60.54% and accounts for 5.39 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 10.40% this month, The contribution of food products to inflation currently amounts to 2.03 percentage points.
  • Core inflation, which does not take into account price evolutions of energy products and unprocessed food, stands at 6.21% in September, compared to 5.74% in August. This is a result of increased inflation for processed food and services.
  • The main price increases in August concerned electricity, natural gas, clothing, alcoholic beverages, domestic heating oil, restaurants and cafés, travels abroad and city trips, purchase of vehicles and rent. However, airplane tickets, hotel rooms, confectionery, motor fuels, bread and cereals and meat have had a decreasing effect on the index.

Inflation

Inflation was running at 11.27% in September compared to 9.94% in August and 9.62% in July. Inflation based on the health index amounted to 11.25% this month compared to 9.70% in August and 9.07% in July. Inflation without energy rose to 6.44% compared to 5.99% in August and 5.76% in July. Core inflation, which does not take into account price evolutions of energy products and unprocessed food, stood at 6.21% in September, compared to 5.74% in August and 5.49% in July.

Core inflation and inflation without energy

Inflation for services has risen slightly from 5.36% to 5.38%. Inflation for rents now stands at 3.86%, up from 3.73%. Inflation for food products (including alcoholic beverages) stands at 10.40% this month, compared to 9.71% last month. This inflation rate has risen sharply in recent months. In November last year, it was still 0.47%. In particular, inflation for oils, fish, dairy products, bread and cereals and meat has sharply increased in recent months. Inflation for oils stands this month at 24.8%. In November, it was still 3.6%. For fish, inflation is now 12.5% compared to -0.4% in November. Inflation for dairy products amounts to 14.9% this month compared to 0.6% in November. For bread and cereals, it stands this month at 13.2% compared to 1.7% in November. Inflation for meat amounts this month to 10.3% compared to 0.8% in November.

Inflation for food and some subgroups

The sharp increase in inflation since autumn 2021 is largely due to energy products. Energy inflation is now running at 60.54%, compared to 49.81% in August and 49.11% in July. Electricity is now 81.3% more expensive than a year ago. Natural gas is 134.9% more expensive than last year in September. The price of domestic heating oil, calculated based on a smoothed 12-month moving average, has increased by 56.3% in one year. Motor fuels are 16.8% more expensive than last year.

The high inflation is mainly due to the high energy prices. Energy currently has an inflation rate of 60.54% and accounts for 5.39 percentage points of the total inflation. Food, with an inflation rate of 10.40%, contributes 2.03 percentage points.

Contibution of energy to inflation

The price of natural gas has increased by 14.7% on average compared to the previous month. Prices for electricity have gone up by 15.0% on average this month.

Indices for electricity and natural gas

Some products and services that rose sharply in price compared to September last year are:

Upward: Inflation
Natural gas 134.9%
Electricity 81.3%
Domestic heating oil 56.3%
Other edible oils than olive oil (including frying oil) 36.9%
Hotels 31.2%
Butter 25.9%
Whole milk 25.4%
Semi-skimmed milk 25.2%

 

Some products and services that fell sharply in price compared to September last year are:

Downward: Inflation
Television set -11.9%
Smartphones -9.9%
Computers -5.2%
Mobile telephone services -4.8%
Recording media (a.o. memory card) -2.6%
Accessories for audio and video equipment (including headphones) -1.7%
Men's clothing -0.8%
Personal accessories (including umbrella, sunglasses...) -0.4%

 

The main group with the largest upward effect[i] on inflation in September was ‘housing, water, energy’ with an effect on inflation of 4.19 percentage points. The largest downward effect was measured for “recreation and culture” with -0.65 percentage points.

Effect on inflation

The main group with the largest contribution[ii] to inflation is ‘Housing, water and energy’ with 5.38 percentage points. The lowest contribution to inflation is made by the group education, with 0.01 percentage points.

Contribution to inflation

The first inflation estimate according to the European harmonised index of consumer prices (HICP flash estimate) for Belgium amounts to 12.0% for September 2022.

Comment on the level of the indices

Index evolution

The consumer price index has increased by 1.19 point or 0.96% in September 2022 and now amounts to 125.24 points, compared to 124.05 points in August 2022 (2013=100). The health index has increased by 1.24 points to 124.92 points in September, compared to 123.68 points in August. The smoothed health index stood at 120.53 points in September. The next central index for public service and social benefits is set at 120.73 points.

The main price increases in September concerned electricity, natural gas, clothing, alcoholic beverages, domestic heating oil, restaurants and cafés, travels abroad and city trips, purchase of vehicles and rent. However, airplane tickets, hotel rooms, confectionery, motor fuels, bread and cereals and meat have had a decreasing effect on the index.

The most important trends this month are:

Upward: Effect: Downward: Effect:
Electricity +0.730 point Airplane tickets -0.205 point
Natural gas +0.415 point Hotel rooms -0.120 point
Clothing +0.190 point Confectionery -0.105 point
Alcoholic beverages +0.125 point Motor fuels -0.095 point
Domestic heating oil +0.110 point Bread and cereals -0.095 point
Restaurants and cafés +0.065 point Meat -0.050 point
Travels abroad and city trips +0.060 point    
Purchase of vehicles +0.060 point    
Private rent +0.055 point    

Electricity became on average 15.0% more expensive in September. Prices for natural gas have gone up by 14.7% on average this month. The price of clothing has gone up by 3.7% on average this month. Alcoholic beverages were on average 5.9% more expensive this month. The price of domestic heating oil, calculated based on a smoothed 12-month moving average, increased by 7,3% on average. Visits to restaurants and cafés have become on average 0.8% more expensive. The purchase of vehicles became on average 0.7% more expensive this month. Private rent increased on average by 0.6% this month.

Airplane tickets have become on average 21.6% less expensive this month. The price of hotel rooms decreased by 9.1%. In September, confectionery registered an average price decrease of 7.6%. Prices for motor fuels have decreased on average by 2.1% this month. Bread and cereals have become on average 2.5% less expensive. The price of meat has gone down by 1,0% on average this month.

2013 = 100 June July August September
Consumer price index 122.04 123.05 124.05 125.24
Inflation 9.65% 9.62% 9.94% 11.27%
Health index 121.02 122.35 123.68 124.92
Smoothed health index* 117.58 118.39 119.39 120.53
* 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.

Indices
Content

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

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Base year
Inflation
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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 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.

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