The Dutch long-term interest rate based on the return of the most recent ten-year government loan, averaged 3.8 percent in July, i.e. 0.2 percentage points down on June. In the preceding three months the long-term interest rate had risen continually.
In May 2009, the European Central Bank (ECB) decided to lower some of its interest rates. The most important ECB interest rate, the repo rate, was cut by a quarter of a percentage point and has stood at 1.0 percent since 13 May. The ECB deposit rate remained unchanged at 0.25 percent. The deposit rate is often regarded as the bottom rate on the interest market.
One of the main guidelines for the ECB’s decision to change or refrain from changing the interest rate is the level of inflation in the Eurozone. According to the ECB, prices in the Eurozone are stable, if the inflation rate is close to 2 percent. Eurostat, the statistical office of the European Union, registered a deflation rate of 0.6 percent in July. Only a year ago, the Eurozone inflation rate stood at 4.0 percent. This was the highest rate since the introduction of the euro.