Tomatoes in a supermarket; Credit: Pixabay

On Monday 8 April 2024, Luxembourg's national statistical institute, STATEC, reported that the annual inflation rate had dropped to 3.1% in March 2024 (down from 3.2% one month earlier).

Last month, the national consumer price index, calculated by STATEC, rose by 0.2% compared to the previous month - an increase attributed to rising service prices.

The services aggregate rose by 0.6% compared to February 2024. The adaptation of medical care rates (following the introduction of a new "key letter") increased the cost of services provided by general practitioners, specialists and dentists by an average of 7.7%. Air fares were 8.1% higher than in February, while package holiday prices rose by 5.9%. Prices for crèches and children's daycare centres similarly increased by 2.8% compared to the previous month. Car maintenance and repair services (+0.8%) also fuelled inflation in March, according to STATEC.

On the one hand, food prices increased by 0.3% over one month. The largest increases were noted for olive oil (+8.0%), baby food (+5.1%), fresh seafood (+4.2%) and chocolate (+3.9%). Falling prices were notably recorded for fresh vegetables (-4.3%), fresh fish (-4.4%) and potatoes (-1.5%). Over one year, food prices were 2.8% higher than in March 2023.

On the other hand, seasonal price movements pushed the result downwards. The price of cut flowers fell by 2.8%, following increases in February (Valentine's Day). Price drops were also noted for non-durable household items such as sponges and paper towels (-1.1%) and large household appliances (-1.9%).

The petroleum products aggregate fell by 0.8% compared to February. In particular, household oil bills decreased by 4.6% compared to the previous month. At the pump, the price of Diesel fell by 2.0%, while that of a litre of petrol increased by 1.4% over one month. The prices of products derived from black gold in the index basket were 1.1% higher than in March 2023.

The annual inflation rate thus stood at 3.1%, compared to 3.2% a month earlier. The underlying annual inflation rate lost 0.1 percentage point and stood at 3.3% in March 2024. The general index for the month of March expressed in base 100 in 2015 amounted to 122.59 points. The half-yearly average of the index connected to the 1.1.1948 base went from 999.69 to 1000.72 points. STATEC added that the next index will be triggered when the value of 1013.46 is reached.