Belgium inflation slows to 6.6 percent in February

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Inflation in Belgium eased to 6.6 percent in February, from 8.1 percent in January, reflecting a decline in energy prices, data released by the country’s statistics office, Statbel, showed Monday.

It is the fourth month in a row that inflation has fallen, after the peak of 12.3 percent in October 2022.

“With regard to energy, we see a new significant decrease in inflation this month,” a Statbel statement reads, adding that came after a “sharp increase” in energy inflation a year ago that was followed by a fall in electricity and natural gas prices this month. 

The price of natural gas has fallen by 27.8 percent on average compared to the previous month while electricity prices decreased by 16.2 percent in the same period, according to the office. 

The news will be welcomed by almost one million people in a country of 11.6 million who are said to be struggling to pay their energy bills.

However inflation for food products has risen by 16.1 percent, which is even more than last month. The most significant cost increases in February were registered for alcoholic drinks, vegetables, meat, fish, dairy products and fruit as well as rents and vehicles.

In December, inflation in Belgium was the highest since the financial crisis in 2008 and outstripped the average inflation in the eurozone with hit 5.7 percent compared with a year earlier.