We are repeating ourselves, but in this case with great pleasure: all signals indicate that the economic recovery is continuing and that we are gradually emerging from the grip of inflation. For example, the diesel price is at its lowest level since the autumn of 2021, even before the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Bizarrely enough, gas network manager Fluxys was even able to take advantage of that war to make a profit of 746 million euros last year due to Belgium’s position as a hub for gas within Europe. And that is also good news for you and I: the exceptional profit will be used, among other things, to reduce our energy bill.
Last week, the European Central Bank decided to raise the policy rate again by 0.25 percentage point to 3.25 percent. That is at a slower pace than the previous times. Good news for the banks, who receive an even higher percentage for money they park at the ECB. “The banks get 3.25 percent, but their customers barely give them more than 0 percent. They delay implementing the changes and make it extremely difficult for customers to get a higher interest rate,” says economist Paul De Grauwe. “That is, in fact, a great shame.”
It is indeed the case that money on a current account yields nothing at all, for money on savings books the percentage is now around 1.5 percent. Although there are considerable differences between the banks themselves. It is therefore interesting to compare the different banks not only with regard to your savings, but also for other aspects. We have listed a number of tips that can help you with that choice.
We all look for the most interesting promotions in the supermarket. But that is at the expense of profit margins for farmers and nature. The recent problems at Delhaize also show that such a model has human consequences. That is why there has been a plea for prices that are more realistic. A cautious initiative has been launched in the Dutch Albert Heijn stores, whereby customers can opt for the True Price, taking into account the hidden costs for people and the environment. For example, coffee could be paid 2.08 euros instead of 2 euros. That 8 cents would then go to projects in the regions where the coffee comes from. That sounds good, but research shows that an average of 60 percent extra would have to be paid. It remains to be seen to what extent the customer will go along with this.
True to tradition, we close with a block of financial sports news. After all, the biggest deal ever in the sports world is about to happen. The Saudi Al-Hilal offers the Argentinian top footballer Lionel Messi an annual salary of 500 million euros to move to the oil state, another 300 million euros more than Cristiano Ronaldo. Top-shelf sports washing. To put the absurdity of such amounts into perspective: in three hours Messi will be able to earn as much as what the Jamaican sprint champion Shericka Jackson, top earner in athletics, earns in a whole year in prize money: 90,378 euros.
Maybe ask your children whether they really don’t like football a bit more than athletics.
Until next week,
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