EU nation hit by record-high inflation

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Belgian consumer prices have continued to rise, rising 20.6% year on year in March, according to a research conducted by the country’s non-profit consumer organization Test Achats. The increase was primarily related to an increase in energy prices.

“Our analysis is based on a basket of over 3,000 basic supermarket products sold in Albert Heijn, Carrefour, Colruyt, Cora, Delhaize, Aldi, and Lidl stores.” It reveals that a two-person household spends €521 [$570] per month on groceries, which is €89 more than a year ago and €9 more than in February,” according to the Test Achats statement.

According to the survey, vegetable prices peaked last month, but production was significantly lower in winter due to rising energy prices, which made heating greenhouses unprofitable. According to Test Achats, the supply has thus been limited, resulting in a price increase.

According to the data, vegetable prices increased 31% year on year in March. The most expensive items are iceberg salad (+53%), cucumbers (+51%), and onions (+50%).

Bread prices increased by 22% on average, while fish and fruit prices increased by 14%.

“With these figures, we can only evoke a situation of food insecurity, especially since we do not anticipate a price drop in April,” Test Achats spokesperson Julie Frère noted. She urged the government to consider solutions to assist households, such as the establishment of an anti-inflation basket of products similar to the one established in France.