High fuel prices are driving the inflation rate up to 7.59%, a level last seen when Billboard’s number one song was The Police’s “Every Breath You Take” in the summer of 1983.
In January, inflation increased to 7.59% from 5.71% in December, the highest rate since August 1983. Meanwhile, the consumer price index experienced its quickest rise since Prince Baudouin was preparing to become King of Belgium. During the past month, the consumer price index increased by 2.23% – the most significant monthly change since March 1951, according to Statbel, the Belgian office for national statistics.
“The high inflation this month is due, as in recent months, to the high energy prices. Energy currently has an inflation rate of 60.86% and contributes 4.97 percentage points to the total inflation,” Statbel reports.
This week, the price of diesel fuel pumps is expected to top €1.80 per litre; the first time diesel will be so expensive. Domestic heating oil, electricity, and natural gas rates are also increasing.
Supermarket prices rose for such items as bread and cereals, meat, dairy products, non-alcoholic beverages, and non-durable household goods rose by between 3% and 5%, The Brussels Times previously reported. Also increasing are costs for health insurance, fire insurance, sewage collection, hotel rooms, and new vehicles.
Not all products increased in price. For example, television sets and airfares are both less expensive now than a year ago. So is the cost of fresh seafood, mobile devices, toys and gaming.