Higher prices for clothes and shoes push up inflation rate

In March 2007, Dutch inflation was 1.8 percent, an increase by 0.3 percentage points compared to February when prices were 1.5 percent up on one year previously. The inflation increase in March is predominantly caused by higher prices for clothes and footwear, as the consumer price index calculated by Statistics Netherlands shows.

Inflation according to the European harmonised method was 1.9 percent in March, as against 1.4 percent in the preceding month.

New summer clothes collection more expensive

The substantial inflation increase is chiefly attributable to higher prices for clothes and shoes. Prices of these products rose on average by 3.5 percent in March relative to one year previously, whereas in February prices were 0.5 percent lower than one year ago. Price increases for clothes and footwear coincide with the introduction of the new summer clothes collection now available in the shops.

Increased prices for motor fuels also contributed to a higher inflation rate. Lower prices for fresh vegetables and potatoes, on the other hand, helped to temper inflation.

Inflation according to the European method also higher

Dutch inflation according to the European harmonised method (HICP) was 1.9 percent in March. In February, HICP inflation was 1.4 percent. A preliminary estimate conducted by Eurostat shows that the inflation rate in the eurozone was also 1.9 percent, marginally higher than in January and February.

Dutch inflation rose rapidly over the past two months. In January, the Netherlands had the lowest inflation rate of the entire European Union. Two months later, the rate equalled the eurozone average.