EU nation hit by record-high inflation

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Consumer prices in Belgium have accelerated past 20% in annual terms, a report says

Belgian consumer prices have continued to soar, jumping 20.6% in March from a year ago, according to a study by the country’s non-profit consumer organization Test Achats. The spike was mainly attributed to a surge in energy prices.

“Our analysis is based on a basket of more than 3,000 basic products sold in supermarkets, for the stores of Albert Heijn, Carrefour, Colruyt, Cora, Delhaize, Aldi and Lidl. It shows that a two-person household spends an average of €521 [$570] per month at the supermarket, i.e. €89 more than a year ago and €9 more than in February,” the Test Achats statement said.

The study shows that vegetable prices peaked last month, while production was also much lower in winter due to soaring energy prices which made heating greenhouses unprofitable. The supply has therefore been reduced, resulting in a surge in prices, according to Test Achats.

The report states that vegetable prices jumped 31% on average in March year-on-year. Prices for iceberg salad (+53%), cucumbers (+51%) and onions (+50%) have risen most of all.

The price of bread rose 22% on average, while fish and fruit costs were up 14%.

“Faced with these figures, we can only evoke a situation of food insecurity, especially since we do not expect a drop in prices in April,” Test Achats spokesperson Julie Frère stated. She called on the government to think about ways to help households, including the introduction of an anti-inflation basket of products like the one that has been set up in France.

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