In May, Dutch inflation was 1.0 percent, i.e. 0.1 percentage points down on April. The small decrease was mainly caused by petrol price developments. Petrol prices were 11.5 percent higher in May than one year previously, whereas in April, they were 16 percent up on April 2009. Inflation is defined as the increase in the consumer price index (CPI) compared to the same month in the previous year.
With 0.5 percentage points, the transport sector accounted for most of May’s 1.0 percent inflation. Consumption abroad contributed 0.2 percentage points. Housing, water and energy had a downward effect on inflation of 0.4 percentage points. Food and soft drinks had a negative contribution of 0.1 percentage points. Prices of other goods and services had a marginal effect on the Dutch inflation rate in May.
The harmonised consumer price index (HICP) allows comparison between the inflation rates in the various member states of the European Union (EU). According to the HICP, the Netherlands had an inflation rate of 0.4 percent in May. Eurostat, the European statistical office, calculated an inflation rate of 1.6 percent in the eurozone. Energy price adjustments as a result of changes in crude oil prices largely account for the huge gap between the Dutch and eurozone inflation rates. In the Netherlands, adjustments in gas and electricity rates usually become effective in January and July. In most other European countries, gas and electricity rates are continually adjusted.