Harmonised Index of Consumer Prices (HICP)

Harmonised index of consumer prices - March 2019

Consumer prices
Harmonised index of consumer prices - March 2019
  • Belgium's inflation rate based on the European harmonised index of consumer prices (HICP) was running at 2.2 % in March compared to 2.0 % in February. Core inflation (inflation without energy and unprocessed food) stands at 1.5 % in March.
  • The inflation rate based on the consumer price index (CPI) for March stood at 2.3 % compared to 2.2 % in February.
  • The sub-indices with the largest upward effect on inflation were electricity, motor fuels, domestic heating oil, travels abroad, tobacco and gas.
  • The sub-indices with the largest downward effect on inflation were housing rent, meat, telecommunication and clothing.
  • The harmonised index of consumer prices of March for the EU Member States will be published by Eurostat on 17 April.

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Inflation based on the European harmonised index of consumer prices (HICP) was running at 2.2 % in March compared to 2.0 % in February. Inflation based on the harmonised index of consumer prices at constant tax rates (HICP-CT) was running at 2.0 % in March, up from 1.7 % in February. The difference in inflation between the HICP and the HICP-CT is largely due to the changes in excise duties on motor fuels and tobacco. These increases are not taken into account in the HICP-CT.

Inflation and effect on inflation for the 12 main groups

Based on the breakdown into 12 main groups, the highest inflation rate in March was measured for "housing, water, energy" (4.2 %). The lowest inflation rate was measured for "communication" (0.2 %).

The main group with the largest upward effect on inflation in March was "housing, water, energy" with an effect on inflation of 0.4 percentage point. The largest downward effect was measured for "food and non-alcoholic beverages" (-0.2 percentage point).

Inflation and effect on inflation for the overall HICP and 12 main groups

Product group Weight (‰) Inflation on annual basis (%) Effect on inflation (percentage point)
HICP HICP-CT
Jan/19 Feb/19 Mar/19 Mar/19 Jan/19 Feb/19 Mar/19
0 Total expenditure 1000.0 1.8 2.0 2.2 2.0      
1 Food and non-alcoholic beverages 165.0 1.0 0.7 1.0 1.0 -0.1 -0.2 -0.2
2 Alcoholic beverages and tobacco 49.7 4.6 4.1 2.9 1.1 0.1 0.1 0.0
3 Clothing and footwear 53.2 0.4 0.6 0.7 0.7 -0.1 -0.1 -0.1
4 Housing, water and energy 162.8 3.1 3.6 4.2 4.1 0.3 0.3 0.4
5 Interior decoration and household appliances 74.1 0.8 0.8 0.6 0.6 -0.1 -0.1 -0.1
6 Health 81.5 1.0 1.0 1.0 1.0 -0.1 -0.1 -0.1
7 Transport 123.6 1.7 2.6 3.5 2.8 0.0 0.1 0.2
8 Communication 32.9 0.4 0.6 0.2 0.2 0.0 0.0 -0.1
9 Recreation and culture 87.8 2.3 3.3 2.8 2.8 0.1 0.1 0.1
10 Education 5.0 1.3 1.3 1.3 1.3 0.0 0.0 0.0
11 Hotels, cafés and restaurants 80.7 1.0 1.0 2.0 2.0 -0.1 -0.1 0.0
12 Various goods and services 83.7 2.1 2.0 2.0 2.0 0.0 0.0 0.0

Inflation according to specific aggregates

The overall HICP can be broken down into five specific aggregates which together form the total expenditure.

  • The inflation rate for fuels and energy sources has gone up. It was running at 8.6 % in March compared to 6.2 % in February. Prices increased on average by 1.6 % compared to the previous month. The average inflation rate of this aggregate for the last twelve months is 10.1 %.
  • Inflation for processed food products amounts to 1.7 % in March compared to 1.9 % in February 2.2 % in January. Prices increased on average by 0.2 % compared to February.
  • Inflation for unprocessed food (fruit, vegetables, meat and fish) amounts to 0.2 % in March compared to -0.2 % in February and 0.4 % in January. Prices increased on average by 2.7 % compared to February. The average inflation rate of this aggregate for the last twelve months is 1.9 %.
  • Inflation for non-energy industrial goods remained unchanged from February at 1.0 % in March. On average, prices remained stable compared to February.
  • Inflation for services was running at 1.8 % in March, also unchanged from February. Prices decreased by 0.2 % on average compared to the previous month.

Core inflation (inflation without energy and unprocessed food) amounted to 1.5 % in March, a slight decrease compared to 1.6 % in February. Average core inflation over the last 12 months has also been 1.6 %. On average, prices of this subaggregate remained stable compared to the previous month.

Inflation according to specific aggregates

Specific aggregates Weight (‰) Inflation on annual basis (%) 12-month average (%) Monthly change
Jan/19 Feb/19 Mar/19 Mar/19 Mar/19
Total expenditure 1000.0 1.8 2.0 2.2 2.4 0.2
Fuels and energy sources 97.4 4.3 6.2 8.6 10.1 1.6
Processed food products 171.5 2.2 1.9 1.7 2.6 0.2
Unprocessed food 43.2 0.4 -0.2 0.2 1.9 2.7
Non-energy industrial goods 267.2 0.9 1.0 1.0 0.9 0.0
Services 420.8 1.7 1.8 1.8 1.6 -0.2
HICP without energy and unprocessed food (core inflation) 859.4 1.6 1.6 1.5 1.6 0.0

Effect of sub-indices on inflation

The largest upward effect on inflation was caused by electricity (0.21 percentage point). Motor fuels provided an effect of 0.20 percentage point. Domestic heating oil provided an effect of 0.17 percentage point. Travels abroad provided an effect of 0.09 percentage point. Finally, tobacco and gas had an impact of 0.08 and 0.07 percentage point, respectively.

Sub-indices with the largest upward effect on inflation

Sub-index Weight (‰) Effect on inflation (percentage point)
2019 Mar/19
04.5.1 Electricity 31.9 0.21
07.2.2 Motor fuels 34.9 0.20
04.5.3 Domestic heating oil 12.5 0.17
09.6.0 Travels abroad 13.9 0.09
02.2.0 Tobacco 30.5 0.08
04.5.2 Gas 17.2 0.07

The largest downward effect on inflation came from housing rent (-0.08 percentage point). Meat, telecommunication and clothing had an effect of -0.07 percentage point each.

Sub-indices with the largest downward effect on inflation

Sub-index Weight (‰) Effect on inflation (percentage point)
2019 Mar/19
04.1.0 Housing rent 62.7 -0.08
01.1.2 Meat 41.9 -0.07
08.3.0 Telecommunication 30.8 -0.07
03.1.2 Clothing 42.1 -0.07

Comparison with neighbouring countries

Since the HICP of the neighbouring countries will not be published until later, comparisons can only be made for the month of February.

In February, inflation in Belgium was running at 2.0 %, up from the 1.8 % registered in January. The Netherlands registered an inflation rate of 2.6 % in February; an increase compared to an inflation rate of 2.0 % in January. Inflation in France in February amounted to 1.6 %, up from 1.4 % in January. Inflation in Germany was running at 1.7 % in February, and remained unchanged from January.

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Belgium's inflation rate based on the HICP-CT stood at 1.7 % in February, up from a rate of 1.5 % in January. In Germany, this inflation amounted to 1.7 %, just like the regular HICP inflation. In France, this inflation rate increased to 1,2 % in February compared to 1,1 % in January. In the Netherlands, this inflation was running at 1.1 % in February, up from 0.5 % in January.

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Table 1
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Inflation calculated based on harmonised index of consumer prices by group of products and services, last 12 months

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Table 2
Table 3
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Table 4

Doel en korte beschrijving

De geharmoniseerde consumptieprijsindex (HICP) is een economische indicator de prijsevolutie van goederen en diensten, gekocht door huishoudens, die doorheen de tijd te meten. De HICP maakt dan ook een vergelijkbare meting van inflatie mogelijk in de eurozone, de EU, de Europese Economische Ruimte en voor alle andere landen inclusief kandidaat Lidstaten voor de Europese Unie. De HICP wordt berekend op een geharmoniseerde wijze en op basis van gemeenschappelijke concepten. De HICP is de officiële maatstaf van de inflatie in de eurozone om de Europese Centrale Bank in staat te stellen haar monetair beleid te voeren.

Populatie

Uiteindelijke gezinsuitgaven van gezinnen die op Belgisch grondgebied wonen.

Frequentie

Maandelijks.

Timing publicatie

Resultaten beschikbaar 3 dagen na de referentieperiode

Definities

Geharmoniseerde prijsindex (GICP) : Het geharmoniseerde indexcijfer van de consumptieprijzen (GICP) werd in 1997 opgericht om over een vergelijkbare meting van de inflatie tussen de deelnemende landen uit de toekomstige eurozone te beschikken. Sinds het begin van de euro is het GICP één van de belangrijkste meetinstrumenten van de Europese Centrale Bank (ECB) bij het voeren van haar monetaire beleid. De opgenomen prijzen zijn de prijzen zoals ze werkelijk door de consumenten worden gedragen inclusief bv. de belastingen op de producten, zoals de belasting op de toegevoegde waarde, en houden rekening met de koopjesperiodes.

Inflatie : Inflatie wordt gedefinieerd als de verhouding tussen de waarde van het indexcijfer van de consumptieprijzen van een gegeven maand en het indexcijfer van dezelfde maand het jaar voordien. De inflatie meet dus het tempo waarin het algemene niveau van de prijzen evolueert.

COICOP ; COICOP is een nomenclatuur ontwikkeld door de Verenigde Naties welke tot doel heeft om individuele consumptie uitgaven van gezinnen te classificeren volgens gebruiksdoel.

Geharmoniseerd indexcijfer met constante belastingvoeten : Het geharmoniseerd indexcijfer van de consumptieprijzen met constante belastingvoeten is afgeleid van de HICP en wordt berekend door het niveau van indirecte belastingen (hoofdzakelijk accijnzen en BTW) constant te houden ten opzichte van het niveau dat in december van het jaar voordien werd waargenomen. Dit indexcijfer laat toe het maximum effect op de inflatie te meten bij wijzigingen in de belastingen door te veronderstellen dat deze rechtstreeks en integraal worden doorberekend op de eindprijs die wordt betaald door de consumenten.

Weging : Gewicht in de korf van goederen en diensten bepaald door de resultaten van de nationale rekeningen (uitgaven optiek) en die van het huishoudbudgetonderzoek.

Inflatie met constante belastingvoeten : Inflatie wordt gedefinieerd als de verhouding tussen de waarde van het indexcijfer van de consumptieprijzen van een gegeven maand en het indexcijfer van dezelfde maand het jaar voordien. De inflatie meet dus het tempo waarin het algemene niveau van de prijzen evolueert.

Opmerkingen

Opmerking betreffende tijdigheid van de geharmoniseerd indexcijfer van de consumptieprijzen (HICP) - De HICP wordt telkens gepubliceerd op de 3de werkdag van de maand met uitzondering van de maanden januari (5de werkdag) en februari (14ste werkdag).

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