Dutch inflation was 2.0 percent in January, a marginal increase relative to the preceding months. In November and December 2007, the rate was 1.9 percent. Inflation is calculated as the increase of the consumer price index (CPI) compared with the same month in the previous year.
January’s inflation increase was almost entirely due to higher prices for clothes, petrol and food compared to one year ago. The premiums for supplementary health insurances also went up considerably. Each year in January, the premiums are adjusted and the average premium increase for January 2008 amounted to more than 12 percent. With 7.3 percent, the average premium increase in January 2007 was also considerable.
The increase in the costs of transport contributed 0.6 percentage points to inflation, and that of housing, water and energy contributed 0.2 percentage points. Higher prices for food, drinks and tobacco and in the sector hotels and restaurants contributed 0.7 percentage points to inflation. Prices of communication services, recreation and culture had a downward effect on inflation.The harmonised consumer price index (HICP) allows comparison between the member states of the European Union. Dutch inflation calculated according to this method was 1.8 percent in January. According to Eurostat, the statistical bureau of the EU, eurozone inflation was 3.2 percent in January. The gap between Dutch inflation and the eurozone average has steadily widened since May 2007. In January, the difference was reduced to 1.4 of a percentage point.