Finance

Inflation continues to break records in March – Finance

Inflation stood at 8.31% in March, remaining at its highest level since March 1983 when it had reached 8.92%, Statbel indicated on Wednesday. In February, inflation was 8.04% and 7.59% in January.

Inflation has been pushed up for months by energy priceswhose growth was first driven by the recovery after the various confinements imposed to stem the Covid-19, and then by the Russian invasion of Ukraine. This war has indeed raised a lot of fears while Europe is getting a lot of Russian gas.

Energy inflation rose to 57.22% in March and seems to be marking time somewhat as it stood at 60.99% in February. It still contributes 4.82 percentage points to total inflation.

Electricity now costs 49.9% more than a year ago and natural gas has exploded, costing 148.8% more than in March 2021. The price of heating oil, smoothed over 12 months, rose by 62.7% year-on-year and fuels cost 31.3% more than in March 2021.

Compared to February, natural gas increased by an average of 4.8% while the price of electricity benefited from the temporary reduction in VAT, falling by an average of 11.7%. Fuels rose by 8.9% on average over the month.

Based on the health index, inflation rose to 7.68% from 7.56% in February. The inflation rate excluding energy products reached 3.80% (against 3.28% in February) and underlying inflation, which does not take into account the evolution of the prices of energy products and non-food products processed, stood at 3.75% in March (3.28% in February).

The consumer price index rose by 0.62 points (+0.52%) to 119.69 points. The health index stands at 119.05 points and the smoothed health index stands at 115.54 points. The next central civil service and social benefits index is set at 116.04 points.

Motor fuels, natural gas, fruits, body care, heating oil, purchase of vehicles, maintenance and repair of vehicles, and air tickets are the products that exerted the bullish impact most significant in March. Electricity and alcoholic beverages had a lowering effect.

Inflation has been pushed up for months by energy prices, whose growth was first driven by the recovery after the various confinements imposed to stem the Covid-19, and then by the Russian invasion from Ukraine. This war has indeed raised a lot of fears while Europe is getting a lot of Russian gas. Energy inflation rose to 57.22% in March and seems to be marking time somewhat as it stood at 60.99% in February. It still contributes 4.82 percentage points to headline inflation. Electricity now costs 49.9% more than a year ago and natural gas has exploded, costing 148.8% more than in March 2021. The price of heating oil, smoothed over 12 months, rose by 62.7% year-on-year and fuels cost 31.3% more than in March 2021. compared to February, natural gas increased by an average of 4.8% while the price of electricity benefited from the temporary reduction in VAT, falling by an average of 11.7%. Fuels rose by 8.9% on average over the month. Based on the health index, inflation rose to 7.68% from 7.56% in February. The inflation rate excluding energy products reached 3.80% (against 3.28% in February) and underlying inflation, which does not take into account the evolution of the prices of energy products and non-food products processed, stood at 3.75% in March (3.28% in February). The consumer price index rose by 0.62 points (+0.52%) and stood at 119.69 points. The health index rose to 119.05 points and the smoothed health index stood at 115.54 points. The next central index for the civil service and social benefits is set at 116.04 points. Motor fuels, natural gas, fruits, body care, heating oil, purchase of vehicles, maintenance and repair of vehicles, and air tickets are the products that exerted the bullish impact most significant in March. Electricity and alcoholic beverages had a lowering effect.

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