Supermarket inflation falls to the lowest level in the past two years

Supermarket inflation falls to the lowest level in the past two years
Supermarket inflation falls to the lowest level in the past two years

Although inflation in our country remained stable last month, price increases in the supermarket have weakened further. This is evident from the monthly price survey by the consumer organization Testaankoop.

In the news: Supermarket prices increased by an average of 2.73 percent in March. That is the weakest price increase in the past two years.

  • Testaankoop, which examines the prices of more than 3,000 products every month, notes that supermarket inflation has weakened considerably. A year ago it was still 20.62 percent.

Noticed: Supermarket inflation is lower than the inflation figures of Statbel and Eurostat.

  • The latest inflation report from the Belgian statistical office shows that consumer prices in our country increased by an average of 3.18 percent in March. It is the first time since June 2022 that supermarket inflation is lower than Statbel’s inflation figure.
  • The Belgian inflation rate is even higher according to the calculation method of the European Statistical Office – the European Harmonized Consumer Price Index (HICP). That report shows that prices in our country increased by an average of 3.8 percent last month.

Details: Testaankoop adds that the price of some products has even fallen compared to a year earlier. This is the case, among other things, for bread (-2.7%), semi-skimmed milk (-3.5%) and cling film and aluminum foil (-7%).

  • “These price drops must of course be put into perspective, because these products had already risen sharply in price last year,” the consumer organization adds. “In two years, bread became 24 percent more expensive and dairy 28 percent. On average, products in the supermarket increased by 26 percent compared to January 2022, which was the first month with inflation of more than 2 percent.”

“We do not expect significant price drops”

Outlook: Testaankoop believes that there is little chance that significant price drops will come our way.

  • “Although prices on international markets for raw materials such as vegetable oil and grains have been falling for almost two years, she has not seen similar declines in products such as frying oil, pasta and flour in the supermarket,” it said. “On the contrary, frying oil costs an average of 39 percent more than two years ago, and pasta also costs us an average of 5 percent more than a year and a half ago, when prices on international markets started to fall.”
  • It therefore seems more likely that prices will stagnate on average, and there will be no compensation for the enormous increases of the past year. “However, the declines in raw material prices and energy prices do indicate that there is room for price declines,” says Ortwin Huysmans, spokesperson for Testaankoop. “These do not, or hardly, benefit the consumer, while the price increases last year could be passed on. That is why Testaankoop continues to strive for a re-evaluation of the entire food chain, so that costs can be shared between all actors. In our opinion, the rising costs are now disproportionately borne by the consumer.”

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