Jonas Hamers / ImageGlobe

Inflation rate in Belgium at highest level in almost five years

The inflation rate in Belgium has climbed to 2.86 percent this month. Life is becoming more expensive at a faster rate in recent months, mostly due to higher energy prices. The inflation rate is at its highest level since February 2017. 

In order to calculate the cost of living, the government has compiled a list or "basket" with various items. This makes it easy to compare.  

In January, the inflation was only 0.26 percent. Since this summer, inflation rates - calculated on the year - have exceeded 2 percent. In August, they were at 2.73 percent and this month, they have climbed to almost 3 percent, mainly due to the spike in energy prices. 

Electricity is 17.3 percent more expensive than in September last year, natural gas prices are almost 50 percent up. We are also paying 20 percent more for diesel and 17 percent more for petrol.   

If we wouldn't take into account electricity, gas, petrol or fuel, it would have been another story. The cost of living would have fallen by 1.35 percent, the federal statistics agency Statbel calculated. Fruit, pizzas, software, televisions and hotel bookings have become cheaper. However, the hike in energy prices comes at a bad moment for consumers, with winter coming up. 

The European Central Bank aims for inflation of more or less 2 percent.  

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