Health index

From 1994 onwards

The consumer price index, which takes into account price trends of all goods and services, forms the basis of another index: the health index. This health index has been calculated since January 1994 (introduced by the Royal Decree of 24 December 1993). 
The 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.

What is the purpose of the health index?

The health index is used for the indexation of housing rents. The health index is defined in the Law of 23 April 2015 on employment promotion (Belgian Official Journal of 27 April 2015).

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.

More information

  • All health indices from 1994 onward can be found through our index-search. Simply enter the desired year and month to view the consumer price index and the health index on all available bases.
  • Health index: list of excluded items (PDF, 83.29 Kb)
  • More information on the index link to public services wages and pensions can be found on the website of the Wages Service of the FPS Finances:http://www.traitements.fgov.be/indexation/default.htm.
  • The table below shows the health index of the 13 most recent available months. be.STAT allows you to search from 1994 onward.

Purpose and brief description

The health index was introduced in January 1994 (by Royal Decree of 24 December 1993 implementing the law of 6 January 1989 on the safeguarding of the country's competitiveness) and is derived from the consumer price index. The value of the health index is obtained by excluding a number of products from the product and service basket from the consumer price index, in particular alcoholic beverages (bought in the shop or consumed in a café), tobacco products and motor fuels (with the exception of LPG).

Population

Belgian private households

Frequency

Monthly

Timing of publication

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

Remarks

Remark Confidentiality consumer price indices - Although the headings are published in the index and are therefore generally known, the exact definition of the goods and services is kept secret. This confidentiality is required to prevent attempts to manipulate the index, by resolute actions on certain goods and services. The confidentiality of the definitions guarantees the index objectiveness.

Metadata