Inflation falls to 1.5 percent in April

Dutch inflation fell to 1.5 percent in April 2005. This is 0.3 of a percent point lower than in March, when prices were 1.8 percent higher than twelve months previously. The decrease was mainly caused by price developments for fresh vegetables and tobacco products according to Statistics Netherlands’ consumer price index.

Dutch inflation according to the European harmonised index fell from 1.5 percent in March to 1.3 percent in April.

Prices in April 0.1 percent higher than in March

Consumer prices rose by an average 0.1 of a percent point from March to April 2005. Motor fuels cost 2.9 percent  more than in March, and the prices of fresh fruit, eggs and potatoes also rose. Fresh vegetables on the other hand were cheaper than in March.

Inflation 0.3 of a percent point down

The price rise between March and April 2005 was smaller than in the same period in 2004. Last year prices rose by 0.4 percent, this year by 0.1 percent. This pushed down inflation to 1.5 percent. In March it was still as high as 1.8 percent.

The price increase from March to April 2004 was mainly the result of price developments for tobacco products. Among other things an increase in excise pushed up prices of these items substantially, which in turn has pushed up inflation since April 2004. However this no longer has an effect from April this year.

The strong fall in the prices of fresh vegetables also had a downward effect on inflation in April 2005. In March fresh vegetables were more than 25 percent more expensive than one year previously, while in April they cost only 5.9 percent more.

The rise in the price of motor fuels limited the decrease of inflation. Motor fuels cost 8.6 percent more than twelve months ago, in March the difference was 7.2 percent.

Dutch inflation still low internationally

Dutch inflation calculated according to the European harmonised method (HICP) was 1.3 percent in April 2005, 0.2 of a percent point lower than in March. Eurostat, the statistical office of the EU, expects inflation in the eurozone to be 2.1 percent on average in April, the same as in March.

For the twelfth successive month, Finland had the lowest rate of inflation in the eurozone, and the Netherlands the second lowest rate. Outside the eurozone, EU members Sweden, the Czech Republic and Denmark had lower inflation than the Netherlands.

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