The Dutch long-term interest rate, based on the return of the most recent ten-year government loan, averaged 4.2 percent in October 2008. This is 0.1 percent point down on September. In June and July, the long-term interest rate averaged 4.7 percent, the highest level in nearly six years.
In November 2008, the European Central Bank (ECB) lowered its interest rates by 0.5 percentage points. As from 12 November 2008 the ECB deposit rate will be 2.75 percent. The deposit rate is often considered as the bottom rate on the interest market. As from 12 November 2008, the most important ECB interest rate, the repo rate, will be 3.25 percent.
One of the main guidelines for the ECB’s decision to change or refrain from changing the interest rate is the inflation level in the eurozone. According to the ECB, prices are stable in the eurozone if the inflation rate is close to 2 percent. Inflation has been above 2 percent for more than a year now. Eurostat, the statistical office of the European Union, calculated an average inflation of 3.2 percent for October 2008.