Total inflation in Belgium slightly increased in the second quarter of 2016. This was essentially due to the rocketing electricity inflation. This emerges today (Monday) from the state-run l’Observatoire des Prix (Belgium’s price tracker). Inflation thus saw a slight increase to an average of 1.6%, compared to 1.5% in the previous quarter.
Price contractions year-on-year for energy commodities fell by an average of 2.9%, in the second quarter. For fuel oils and heating fuel, the average fall was respectively -10,2% and -26%, owing to the fall in the oil price. Consumer prices for natural gas equally decreased by 14.5%.
Electricity consumer prices spiked by 40.6% in the second quarter year-on-year. The high inflation has occurred as a result of the increase in VAT from 6% to 21%, since September 2015, being part of the tax shift and increase in network tariffs. More specifically distribution tariffs have increased by 10.3% over the course of the last quarter.
Overall inflation in the main neighbouring countries (Germany, France and the Netherlands) was at 0% in the second quarter, l’Observatoire notes.