Dutch inflation stood at 2.0 percent in March, equalling February’s inflation rate. Prices of clothing had an upward effect on inflation, which was cancelled out by lower prices for vegetables, diesel fuel and energy. On balance, inflation remained unchanged. Inflation is calculated as the increase of the consumer price index (CPI) relative to the same month in the previous year.
With 0.9 percentage points, housing, water and energy costs accounted for nearly half of the increase in March. Food also contributed substantially, food products and soft drinks accounting for 0.4 percentage points, tobacco and alcoholic drinks for 0.3 percentage points and the sector hotels and restaurants for 0.2 percentage points. Prices of transport and communication, on the other hand, had a downward effect on inflation of 0.4 percentage points. These services cost less than one year previously.
The harmonised consumer price index (HICP) allows comparison between the various member states of the European Union (EU). According to the HICP, Dutch inflation was 1.8 percent in March, as against 1.9 percent in February.
Eurostat, the European statistical office, calculated an inflation rate in the eurozone of 0.6 percent in March. Inflation in the eurozone has never been this low. In February, inflation in the eurozone stood at 1.2 percent. Energy prices largely accounted for the gap between the Dutch and the eurozone inflation rate. Most European countries are more promptly affected by changes in oil prices than in the Netherlands.