It is impossible to provide a full list of all causes for the differences between the inflation rates of the eurozone countries. But some causes for the price developments in the Netherlands can be shown:
- A general cause of developments in the Dutch inflation rate is the slowdown in the rising labour cost.
- The increase in the VAT rates in 2001 and the hike in energy taxes in the Netherlands.
- The price war in Dutch supermarkets that started in October 2003.
- In January 2004 some parts of Dutch health care were no longer covered by the compulsory health insurance. This caused a sharp increase in the price index for health care in that month. A similar change took place in Germany as well at the time. From December 2003 to January 2004 the HICP index for health care in the Netherlands increased by 9.0 percent, versus 5.7 percent in the eurozone. The rise in Germany at the time was 16.1 percent.
Differences between the inflation rates in the eurozone countries may also be due to differences in consumption packages. The price developments of alcohol and tobacco also depend on developments in the levies in the various member states.
Differences in the price structure of certain articles can also lead to different outcomes. The price of energy is partly determined by the structure of the package of energy products: electricity, gas (natural gas, gas cylinders), heath-energy, coal, domestic fuel oil, wood.
Furthermore the price structure has pure energy component, network costs or supply costs, taxes etc. The price of electricity is also determined by the energy sources used in the member states: water, coal, gas, natural gas, nuclear energy.