Belgian inflation surpasses that of eurozone, supermarkets up to 12% more expensive
Inflation in the eurozone has risen to 8,9% on an annual basis in July, up from 8,6% in June. This is evident from a flash estimate by the European statistics office Eurostat on Friday. Inflation in Belgium appears to be higher than the eurozone average, with an estimate of 10,4%. Meanwhile, a study by research agency Daltix shows that supermarkets in Belgium have become up to 12% more expensive this quarter.
The inflation indicator has reached a new record high every month since November. Energy had the biggest impact, followed by food, alcohol and tobacco. In Belgium, inflation was 10,4% in July, according to Eurostat's estimate, compared to 10,5% in June. Despite our country surpassing the eurozone's average, several other countries are faced with even higer inflation. Estonia, for instance, saw an estimated monthly increase of 1,7% and an annual increase of 22,%. In Lithuania and Latvia, inflation is estimated at 20,8% and 21% respectively. The lowest inflation rates in July were recorded in France (6,8%) and Malta (6,5%).
Among other things, buying groceries in Belgium has once again become more expensive, new figures released by research agency Daltix showed on Friday. Every supermarket chain in Belgium has increased its prices this quarter: prices at Albert Heijn are now 7,8% higher than in the same quarter last year, Aldi is 11,1% more expensive, and Carrefour Hypermarket went up by 11,9%. At Colruyt and Delhaize the increases are slightly lower, with 4,3% and 6%, respectively.
“Supermarkets were afraid to be the first to raise their prices because they might lose customers. But meanwhile, supplier prices have become so high that supermarkets are obliged to raise prices for consumers."
With the cost of raw materials, transportation and energy on the rise due to the war in Ukraine, the price increase in supermarkets had been a long time coming, says Pierre-Alexandre Billiet, CEO of retail magazine ‘Gondola’ and professor at Solvay Business School. “Supermarkets were afraid to be the first to raise their prices because they might lose customers”, he told Het Laatste Nieuws. “But meanwhile, supplier prices have become so high that supermarkets are obliged to raise prices for consumers."
Meanwhile, both the eurozone and Belgian economies are showing very limited growth, Eurostat’s figures show. The eurozone economy grew by 0,7% in the second quarter of this year compared to the previous quarter, and that of the European Union by 0,6%, which is more than was expected. In Belgium, the gross domestic product (GDP) grew in the second quarter by 0,2 percent compared to the previous quarter, and by 3,3 percent compared to the same quarter last year.
© BELGA PHOTO NICOLAS MAETERLINCK