According to the European definition, inflation in the Netherlands was 1.0 percent in 2009. This is the same as the average for the European Union. In 2008, the Netherlands was one of the countries with the lowest inflation rates in Europe. And although inflation in the Netherlands was much lower in 2009 than in 2008, this was even more so in most other EU countries. Ireland, Portugal and Spain even reported deflation, i.e. price decreases. Consumer prices rose by most in Romania.
Inflation according to European harmonised consumer price index, 2009 1)
Dutch households had to pay 12 percent more for alcohol and tobacco in the first nine months of 2009 than twelve months previously. In the EU-27 this increase was much smaller. Prices in hotels and restaurants also rose by more than average in the Netherlands, but price increases for recreation and cultural activities were smaller than average. Communication cost less for consumers in both the Netherlands and the rest of Europe, but the prices decreases were larger in the Netherlands.
Dutch prices around European average
Price levels in the Netherlands were around the EU average in 2008, and similar to those in Germany and the United Kingdom. Shopping is relatively cheap in eastern Europe; in Bulgaria in particular, consumer prices are relatively low. In the Scandinavian countries and Ireland, on the other hand, the cost of living is considerably higher than average.