Inflation down again

04/06/2009 15:00

Dutch inflation stood at 1.6 percent in May, which is 0.2 of a percentage point down on April. Especially prices of fresh vegetables had a downward effect on inflation. Inflation is calculated as the increase of the consumer price index (CPI) relative to the same month in the previous year.

The higher costs of housing, water and energy accounted for 0.9 percentage points of the inflation in May. Tobacco and alcoholic drinks contributed for 0.3 percentage points. Food products and soft drinks accounted for 0.2 percentage points. Prices of transport, on the other hand, had a downward effect on inflation of 0.5 percentage points.

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 1.5 percent in May, as against 1.8 percent in April. According to Eurostat, the European statistical office, the inflation rate in the Eurozone stood at 0.0 percent in May. This is the lowest level since 1996, when the HICP was calculated for the first time.

In most European countries, energy prices are affected more quickly by changes in oil prices than in the Netherlands. However, this is only a partial explanation for the difference in inflation rates between the Netherlands and the eurozone. Price developments in food, beverages and tobacco also contributed to this difference.

Dutch inflation

Dutch inflation