Inflation amounts to 5.20%
Consumer price index for May 2023
- Inflation decreased from 5.60% to 5.20% in May.
- The consumer price index increased by 0.48 points or 0.38% this month.
- Inflation based on the health index has fallen from 5.95% to 5.90%.
- The smoothed health index stood at 124.63 points in May.
- Inflation for food products has sharply increased in the past year. Food inflation (including alcoholic beverages) now stands at 15.51%, compared to 16.64% in April. The contribution of food products to inflation currently amounts to 2.98 percentage points.
- Core inflation, which does not take into account price evolutions of energy products and unprocessed food, stands at 8.70% in May, compared to 8.28% in April.
- The most significant price increases in May were registered for the maintenance and repair of cars, plane tickets, private rents, holiday villages, French-fries stands, fast-food restaurants and snack bars, hotel rooms and alcoholic beverages. However, motor fuels, electricity, bread and cereals and domestic heating oil have had a decreasing effect on the index.
Inflation amounts to 5.20% in May compared to 5.60% in April and 6.67% in March. Inflation based on the health index decreased to 5.90% this month compared to 5.95% in April and 7.35% in March. Inflation without energy increased to 9.30%, compared to 9.02% in April and 9.25% in March. Core inflation, which does not take into account price evolutions of energy products and unprocessed food, stands at 8.70% in May, compared to 8.28% in April and 8.57% in March.
Comment on inflation
With regard to energy, we see a new significant decrease in inflation this month. It now stands at -21.98%, compared to -17.08% last month and -10.11% in March. For electricity, inflation is currently at -26.3% compared to -20.4% last month. It was still 35.5% in December. For natural gas, it went from -62.1% last month to -60.4% this month. In December, it was still 73.1%. Compared to the previous month, prices for natural gas increased by 2.3% and those for electricity decreased by 4.4%. Prices for domestic heating oil, calculated based on a smoothed 12-month moving average, have increased by 27.5% in a year. Motor fuels cost 12.6% less than in May last year and decreased by 4.0% this month compared to the previous month.
Inflation for services has increased to 8.16% up from 6.80%. Inflation for rents remained almost stable to 6.23% from 6.22%. Food inflation (including alcoholic beverages) now stands at 15.51% compared to 16.64% last month. This inflation has sharply increased in the past year. In May last year, it was still 6.32%.
In particular, inflation for oils, fish, dairy products, bread and cereals and meat has sharply increased in the past year. Inflation for oils stands this month at 19.9%. For fish, inflation is now 12.2%. Inflation for dairy products amounts to 23.8% this month. For bread and cereals, it is 15.9% and for meat, 12.9%.
The decrease in inflation in recent months is associated with lower energy prices. Energy inflation goes from -17.08% in April 2023 to -21.98% in May 2023 and accounts for -2.98 percentage points to total inflation. With an inflation of 15.51%, food products account for 2.98 percentage points.
The price of natural gas has increased by 2.3% on average compared to the previous month. The price of electricity has decreased by 4.4% on average this month.
Some products and services that rose sharply in price compared to May last year are:
|Wood and other solid fuels||48.2%|
|Cocoa and powdered chocolate||31.8%|
|Pizza and quiche||28.9%|
Some products and services that fell sharply in price compared to May last year are:
|Other fuels (LPG)||-29.5%|
The main group with the largest upward effect [i] on inflation in May was “Food and non-alcoholic beverages” with an effect of 2.35 percentage points. The largest downward effect was measured for “Housing, water and energy” (-3.32 percentage points).
The main group with the largest contribution [ii] to inflation is “Food and non-alcoholic beverages” with 2.86 percentage points. The lowest contribution to inflation was registered by the main group “Housing, water and energy”, with -1.70 percentage points.
The first inflation estimate according to the European harmonised index of consumer prices (HICP flash estimate) for Belgium amounts to 2.7% for May 2023.
Comment on the level of the indices
The consumer price index rose by 0.48 points or 0.38% in May 2023 and now stands at 127.30 points, compared to 126.82 points in April 2023 (2013=100). The health index has increased by 0.65 points to 127.35 points in May, compared to 126.70 points in April. The smoothed health index stood at 124.63 points in May. The next central index for public service and social benefits is set at 125.60 points.
The most significant price increases in May were registered for the maintenance and repair of cars, plane tickets, private rents, French-fries stands, fast-food restaurants and snack bars, hotel rooms, holiday villages and alcoholic beverages. However, motor fuels, electricity, bread and cereals and domestic heating oil have had a decreasing effect on the index.
The most important trends this month are:
|Maintenance of cars||+0.160 points||Motor fuels||-0.200 points|
|Plane tickets||+0.125 points||Electricity||-0.170 points|
|Private rents||+0.080 points||Bread and cereals||-0.060 points|
|French-fries stands, fast-food restaurants and snack bars||+0.065 points||Domestic heating oil||-0.050 points|
|Hotel rooms||+0.060 points|
|Holiday villages and camping sites||+0.060 points|
|Alcoholic beverages||+0.055 points|
Prices for the maintenance and repair of cars increased by 4.3% on average this month. The price of plane tickets increased in May by 18.3% on average. Private rents have increased by 0.9% on average. French-fries stands, fast-food restaurants and snack bars were on average 4.1% more expensive this month. Hotel rooms experienced a price increase of 7.0% on average. Holiday villages were 10.1% more expensive in May than in the previous month. The price of alcoholic beverages increased by 2.5% this month.
Prices for motor fuels and electricity decreased this month by 4.0% and 4.4% respectively. Prices for bread and cereals decreased by 1.4%. Prices for domestic heating oil, calculated based on a smoothed 12-month moving average, have decreased by 2.7% in May.
|2013 = 100||February||March||April||May|
|Consumer price index||126.95||127.67||126.82||127.30|
|Smoothed health index*||125.00||125.08||124.79||124.63|
|* 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.
XML and XSD schema
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