January’s inflation rate was 2.0 percent, an increase by 0.1 percentage points relative to December, when the annual price increase was 1.9 percent. According to the consumer price index published by Statistics Netherlands, this is the first time in two years the rate reached the 2 percent level. Inflation in the Netherlands is, however, still far below the eurozone average.
Clothes, transport and food prices up
With an average increase of 2.6 percent in January relative to the same month one year previously, clothes prices contributed substantially to inflation. The effect of the January sales was less evident than in January 2007. Consumers spent more on transport (airline tickets and petrol). Food prices also pushed up inflation.
Supplementary health insurance much more expensive
The annual adjustment of the premiums for supplementary health insurances had an upward effect on inflation. The premiums were raised by more than 12 percent relative to a year ago. With 7.3 percent, last year’s price increase was also considerable.
Energy prices have downward effect on inflation
Energy prices had a downward effect on inflation. On average, gas and electricity were 1.8 percent cheaper in January 2008 than in January 2007.
Dutch inflation rate far below the eurozone average
Dutch inflation according to the European harmonised method (HICP) was 1.8 percent in January, i.e. 0.2 percentage points up on December. Eurostat estimates inflation in the eurozone in January at 3.2 percent. The rate of inflation in the Netherlands is thus still far below the eurozone average.