Inflation slightly up in February

Inflation in the Netherlands was 1.6 percent in February 2005. This is 0.1 of a percent point higher than in January, when prices were 1.5 percent higher than twelve months previously. The increase in inflation in February was mainly caused by higher prices for car fuels and fresh vegetables, according to Statistics Netherlands’ consumer price index. Dutch inflation according to the European harmonised index was 1.5 percent in February.

Prices in February 0.5 percent higher than in January

Prices of consumer goods rose by an average 0.5 percent in February from January. The largest increase was for clothes and shoes, but this is usual at this time of year as the sales come to an end and new collections enter the shops. There were also substantial price increases for car fuels and fresh fruit and vegetables. Coffee also cost more in February.

Inflation rises to 1.6 percent

The price increases for car fuels, coffee, and fresh fruit and vegetables pushed inflation up to 1.6 percent in February. It had already risen to 1.5 percent in January because of substantial price increases for gas and electricity. Inflation in 2004 was 1.2 percent on average. In spite of price increases for fruit, vegetables and coffee the total package of food and non-alcoholic drinks was still 2.2 percent cheaper in February 2005 than twelve months previously. This is less than the difference in January, when the prices were 3.4 percent lower than twelve months previously.

Inflation also up according to European index

Dutch inflation according to the European harmonised index (HICP) was 1.5 percent tin February, up from 1.2 percent in January. According to the HICP, inflation in the eurozone was 1.9 percent on average in January. With 1.2 percent the Netherlands had the second lowest rate of inflation in the eurozone for the tenth month in a row; only Finland had a lower rate. Outside the eurozone EU members Sweden  and Denmark had a lower rate of inflation than the Netherlands in January. Eurostat, the statistical office of the EU expects inflation in the eurozone to rise to 2.0 percent in February.

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