The Dutch long-term interest rate, based on the return of the most recent ten-year government loan, averaged 3.5 percent in November, the same rate as in October.
In May 2009, the European Central Bank (ECB) decided to lower its interest rates. The most important ECB interest rate, the repo rate, was cut by a quarter of a percentage point and has been 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 an inflation rate of 0.5 percent in November. It was the first time in six months that prices were higher than one year previously.