Inflation rises to 1.4 percent in April

In April 2004 the rate of inflation was 1.4 percent, 0.3 of a percent point higher than in March. The increase follows a period of three years when inflation was almost continually falling. The April increase was mainly caused by higher prices for motor fuels and tobacco. as the latest figures published by Statistics Netherlands show.

Inflation measured according to the European harmonised consumer price index also rose by 0.3 of a percent point and reached 1.5 percent.

Prices in April 0.4 percent higher than in March

Prices rose by an average 0.4 percent from March to April 2004. Approximately half of the price increase can be attributed to tobacco products.  As from 1 February the excise duty on cigarettes as well as the factory gate price went up. In February and March cigarettes were still sold at the old price  but in April old supplies ran low and most cigarettes were sold at the new price.

Driving a car also became more expensive in April because the price of motor fuels and road tax went up.

Food prices, however, fell further in April. Meat, eggs and fresh vegetables, for instance, were cheaper in April than in March.

Petrol and tobacco halt downward trend inflation rate

The price increases from March to April 2004 outstripped those from March to April 2003. This caused inflation to rise. In April 2004 prices were on average 1.4 percent up on April 2003.

Higher prices for tobacco products accounted for half of this month’s increase of the inflation rate. The price of tobacco products rose by more than 21 percent compared twelve months previously.

Inflation was equally affected by higher prices for motor fuels. The fact that the price of motor fuels rose in April 2004, whereas it fell in April 2003 also contributed to a higher inflation rate. In April 2004 the price of motor fuels was 6.7 percent up on April 2003. In March the corresponding percentage was 1.3.

On the other hand, inflation was curbed by lower food prices. In April food prices were 2.8 down on last year. In March food products were 2.0 percent cheaper than last year.

Inflation according to the European index

In April 2004 Dutch inflation according to the harmonised index of the European Union rose from 1.2 percent in March to 1.5 percent thus reaching the same level as in January 2004. Eurostat, the statistical department of the European Union, anticipates that inflation in the Eurozone will also increase by 0.3 percent in April to reach 2.0 percent.

PDF contains complete press release, including tables and graphics.