Inflation rises to almost 9%
The latest inflation figures show a further rise in the inflation rate. The May figures that were released on Monday morning show that inflation in Belgium now stands at 8.97%, the highest level in almost 40 years. In August 1982 inflation in Belgium rose to just over 9%. The current high level of inflation is to a large extent due to the sharp increase in energy prices during the past year. However, increases in the price of food are also serving to fuel inflation.
In May 2022 prices had increased 8.97% on May 2021. The 8.97% inflation rate in May is up on the 8.31% inflation rate recorded in April. The last time that inflation in Belgium was higher than its current level was in August 1982 when it was 9.02%.
It comes as no surprise to learn that the increased cost of energy is serving to fuel inflation. Energy is currently 56.80% more expensive than it was a year ago. This sharp rise in the cost of energy accounts for more than half (4.80 percentage points) of the current 8.97% inflation rate.
The price of food (including alcoholic drinks) has also risen more sharply than the price of other products and services included in the inflation figures. In May food and drink were 6.32% more expensive than a year ago. This compares with a year-on-year increase of 5% in April.
Looking at the figures in more detail we see that the sharpest price increases in May were for fuel, electricity, private sector rents, visits to restaurants and bars, milk, cheese and eggs, purchasing a vehicle, alcoholic drinks, foreign travel, city trips, fish and sea food.
Meanwhile, the price of gas and the price of clothing both fell during May.