OVERVIEW. In addition to Belgium and the Netherlands, these euro countries also struggle with high inflation | Economy

Prices in Belgium and the Netherlands are through the roof. According to Eurostat, Belgium is struggling with an inflation rate of 9.3 percent. In the Netherlands, inflation rose to almost 12 percent last month. Other European member states are also struggling with uncontrollable inflation since the outbreak of the war in Ukraine.

Figures from European Statistical Office Eurostat show that life is also becoming considerably more expensive in many other euro countries. Inflation averaged 7.5 percent, compared to 5.9 percent in February. As in previous months, this is a new record. Since the introduction of the euro, prices have not risen as fast as last month.

Belgium (+9.3%)

According to Eurostat, our country is struggling with an inflation rate of 9.3 percent. According to Prime Minister Alexander De Croo (Open Vld), the federal government will take measures in the coming weeks to protect purchasing power. Belgium has already taken measures to tackle high energy prices. For example, the VAT on electricity and gas fell to 6 percent. Excise duties on diesel and petrol also fell.

In our country, the automatic linkage of wages to inflation also plays a role. For example, wages rise as prices rise. At first glance, this seems like a positive thing, but higher wages could also be a trigger for new price increases.

Netherlands (+11.9%)

With an inflation rate of almost 12 percent, the Netherlands is in the group of countries with the highest price increases, together with Lithuania (+15.6%), Estonia (+14.8%), and Latvia (+11.2%). Expensive energy in particular drives up inflation. In addition, food prices have risen. For example, the war in Ukraine has made grain scarcer, pushing up the price of many foodstuffs.

However, Dutch people who want to cross the border for cheaper products are disappointed. Although refueling is slightly cheaper in our country, the grocery bill is also rising enormously with us. In France, energy prices have been frozen, which means that heating can be increased by a degree.

In the Netherlands, the excise duty on fuel has been reduced from Friday, but Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte has already warned that declining purchasing power is unavoidable this year.

The Belgian gas stations remain popular because of the cheaper prices. © ANP

France (+5.1%)

The situation is slightly less bleak for the French. An increase in inflation there was ‘limited’ to 5.1 percent. The decision to freeze energy prices at the October level plays a major role in this. This measure will cost the government, ie the taxpayer, tens of billions of euros. A while ago, the government also decided to tackle fuel prices. There is also great pressure in France to repair purchasing power, due to the presidential elections taking place on April 10.

Lithuania (+15.6%)

Lithuania has the thankless honor of being in first place. With an inflation rate of more than 15 percent, it leaves countries such as Malta (4.6%), Portugal (5.5%) and Finland (5.6%) far behind. Energy prices also play a role here. To prevent citizens from being left behind in cold homes, the government decided to (temporarily) bring the VAT to zero.

Although all governments in the European Union are taking measures, the end of rising prices is not yet in sight.

See also: Inflation keeps rising: how hard will we feel it?