Belgium: Inflation jumps to highest level in more than two years
February 25, 2011
In February, consumer prices rose 0.6% over January, which matched the previous month's increase. The reading, which together with the previous month's price rise represented the highest monthly increase since June 2008, reflected increasing prices for electricity, heating oil, and, according to the Statistics Institute, for cut flowers (+23.0% mom) due to Valentine's Day. As a result of the pronounced price increase, annual inflation jumped from 3.2% in January to 3.4% in February, which represented the highest level since October 2008. Meanwhile, HICP inflation (based on the harmonised index of consumer prices) rose to 3.7% in January (the last month for which data are available), pushing annual average HICP inflation to 2.6%. The Central Bank expects HICP inflation to average 1.9% this year.
Author: Ricardo Aceves, Senior Economist