On Wednesday 6 March 2024, Luxembourg's statistical institute, STATEC, announced that the annual inflation rate had dropped to 3.2% (down from 3.4% one month earlier).

Following the monthly decline in January due to winter sales, the national consumer price index, calculated by STATEC, recovered by 1.4% in February 2024. By neutralising the effect of the return on sales, the index increased by 0.5% compared to the previous month. This movement is mainly explained by an increase in the price of petroleum products, STATEC noted.

In February, the monthly evolution of the general index mainly resulted from upward impacts of the divisions affected in January by the winter sales, namely articles of clothing and shoes (up 14.6% compared to January), leisure and culture (up 3.2%) and furniture, household items and routine home maintenance (up 1.2%).

The reversal in the trend in petroleum product prices that began in January was confirmed this month, as the prices of products derived from petrol were on an upward trend. In February, motorists had to pay 6.2% more for a litre of diesel while the price of gasoline increased by 4.5%. The bill increased by 10.7% compared to the previous month for households that filled their oil tank. The prices of petroleum products are 1.1% higher compared to the same month last year.

According to STATEC, several other increases in prices have had an upward influence on the overall result compared to January. The latter concern in particular the prices of package holidays (up 13.5%), due to the carnival school holidays and those of plants and flowers (up 5.5%), boosted by the Valentine's Day sales.

Food prices decreased by 0.5% compared to January. The biggest declines were seen for baby food (down 6.0%), fresh vegetables (down 2.7%) and fresh fruit (down 0.9%). In terms of increases, olive oil (up 3.4%), mineral water (up 3.7%) and potatoes (up 2.0%) stood out. In annual comparison, food prices as a whole are 4.0% higher than in February 2023.

On the services side, the prices of plane tickets decreased by 2.9% and the prices of nurseries and day centres for children were down 0.9%. STATEC also noted price increases for the catering sector (up 0.5%) and financial services (up 0.5%).

The annual inflation rate thus stood at 3.2% compared to 3.4% a month earlier. The underlying annual inflation rate lost 0.6 percentage points and stood at 3.4% in February 2024. The general index for February expressed in base 100 in 2015 amounted to 122.33 points. The half-yearly average of the index connected to the 1.1.1948 base went from 998.89 to 999.69 points. The next wage indexation will be triggered when the value of 1013.46 is reached.