Belgium: Harmonized inflation rises in August
Harmonized inflation increased to 2.4% in August from July’s 1.7%. August’s figure was well below the 5.2% Euro area average and positioned Belgium as the country with the lowest inflation rate in the Euro area. Looking at the details of the release, price pressures for transportation picked up pace in August, while housing and utilities prices fell at a more moderate pace.
The trend pointed down, with annual average harmonized inflation coming in at 6.2% in August (July: 6.8%). Meanwhile, consumer price inflation was steady, coming in at July’s 4.1% in August.
Lastly, harmonized consumer prices rose 2.53% in August over the previous month, contrasting the 0.59% drop recorded in July. August’s result was the highest since October 2022.
Analysts at the EIU commented:
“Inflation will average 3.2% in 2023, down from 10.3% in 2022, in line with lower energy prices and depressed consumer spending. Natural gas makes up about 25% of Belgium’s energy mix. Energy prices for households will benefit from a fall in European gas prices from their peak in September 2022 amid healthy gas storage levels in Europe. Tighter monetary policy will also help to curtail core inflation, which has been high partly owing to the wage indexation system operating in Belgium.”