Inflation rate down to 1.9 percent

  • Inflation rate further down due to lower motor fuel prices
  • Inflation over 2008 averages 2.5 percent
  • Dutch inflation in December exceeds eurozone average

The inflation rate in the Netherlands averaged 1.9 percent in December, i.e. 0.4 percentage points down on November. For the fourth month running, the rate was lower than in the preceding month. Just like in November, the downward trend was caused by substantially lower motor fuel prices, as the most recent figures released by Statistics Netherlands show.

Motor fuels were 17 percent cheaper in December than a year ago, as against more than 12 percent in November relative to November 2007.

The inflation rate over 2008 averaged 2.5 percent. In the first half of the year, the rate rose sharply from 2.0 percent in January to 3.2 percent in July. The increase was partly the result of higher fuel and food prices. Price adjustments for gas and electricity also pushed prices up. In September, the inflation rate began to drop, mainly due to declining motor fuel prices. Food prices were still rising, though less dramatically than in the first six months of the year. Excise duty on diesel fuel and tobacco was also raised in the course of 2008 and an extra tax on plane tickets (the so-called ‘vliegtaks’) was introduced.

Dutch inflation according to the European harmonised method (HICP) was 1.7 percent in December, 0.2 percentage points lower than in November. According to an estimate conducted by Eurostat, the inflation rate in the eurozone was 1.6 percent in December. In recent months, the rate in the eurozone dropped much more rapidly than the inflation rate in the Netherlands. In December, the Dutch rate exceeded the eurozone rate. This has only occurred once since August 2003.