The Dutch long-term interest rate, based on the return of the most recent ten-year government loan, averaged 3.4 percent in March, the same rate as in February.
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 stood at 1.0 percent since 13 May 2009. The ECB deposit rate remained unchanged at 0.25 percent. The deposit rate is often regarded as the bottom rate on the interest market. After May 2009, the ECB did not change its interest rates anymore.
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, recorded an inflation rate of 1.5 percent in the eurozone in March 2010.
Capital market interest rate (latest ten-year government bond)