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Belgian inflation soars to highest level in 10 months

A store clerk shows a plant based burger at a supermarket chain in Brussels, Friday, Oct. 23, 2020.
A store clerk shows a plant based burger at a supermarket chain in Brussels, Friday, Oct. 23, 2020. Copyright Francisco Seco/Copyright 2020 The AP.All rights reserved
Copyright Francisco Seco/Copyright 2020 The AP.All rights reserved
By Indrabati Lahiri
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Italian producer prices also saw their slowest fall since April 2023, as European markets readjust after the price surges seen due to the Russia-Ukraine war.


The year-on-year Belgian inflation report for June was released on Thursday morning, coming in at 3.74%, up from 3.36% in May, according to Statistics Belgium. This was also the highest figure recorded in 10 months. 

The spike in inflation was primarily because of energy utilities and housing prices increasing to 10.85% in June from 7.84% in May. Restaurants and hotels’ prices also inched up to 4.83% in June from 4.09% in the previous month, whereas communication prices rose to 2.6% from 1.45% in May. 

However, food and non-alcoholic beverage prices grew at a much slower pace, at 0.1%, down from 0.77%, while footwear and clothing prices also stabilised somewhat at 3.83% in June  from 3.87% in May. Alcoholic beverages and tobacco prices fell to 6.65% in June, from 7.12% in the previous month. 

Household equipment and furnishings prices also dropped to 1.16% in June, down from 1.5% in May. Similarly, transport prices fell to 1.81% this month from 2.13% in the previous month. 

Month-on-month Belgian inflation in June came in at 0.22%, down from 0.37% in May. 

Statistics Belgium said in the June inflation report, “With regard to energy, we see a positive inflation this month. It now stands at 15.10%, compared to 11.17% last month and 9.19% in April. For electricity, inflation is currently at 13.3%, compared to 3.6% last month. 

“For natural gas, it went from 84.4% last month to 128.0% this month. The increase in inflation in recent months is the result of the extinction of the impact of the basic package for electricity and natural gas. 

“In March, the last effect of the basic package disappeared from the index. The disappearance of the basic package will have an increasing effect on inflation until February 2025.” 

Italian wholesale inflation sees slowest fall since April 2023

The year-on-year Italian producer price index (PPI) report for May was also released on Thursday morning, coming in at -3.5%, up from -5.9% in April, according to the National Institute of Statistics. This marked the slowest fall in Italian wholesale inflation since April 2023. 

Energy prices plunged -10.1%, whereas intermediate goods’ prices dropped -3.9%. However, consumer goods’ inflation inched up 1%, with capital goods’ inflation remaining stable at 0.2%. 

On a month-on-month basis, Italian producer prices increased 0.3% in May, up from -0.9% in April. 

Italian producer prices are now abating somewhat, due to prices stabilising as the market absorbs and readjusts for the price surges seen in metals, energy and food products, following the Russia-Ukraine war, the Israel-Hamas and Red Sea conflicts. 

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