Dutch inflation rose marginally in January to 2.0 percent, an increase by 0.1 of a percentage point compared to December. Inflation is defined as the increase in the consumer price index (CPI) compared to the same month in the previous year.
The slight increase in January’s inflation was mainly caused by increasing electricity rates. Retail electricity prices were on average 1.7 percent higher in January 2011 than in January 2010, whereas in December 2010 they were 5.2 percent lower than in December 2009.
Housing, energy and water and transport became more expensive, together accounting for half of January’s 2.0 inflation rate. Prices for communication services and higher spending abroad each contributed 0.2 percentage points. Food, drinks and tobacco and the sector hotels and restaurants contributed 0.3 percentage points. Price developments in the sector culture and recreation had a downward effect on inflation in January of 0.1 of a percentage point.
The harmonised consumer price index (HICP) allows comparison between the inflation rates in the member states of the European Union (EU). Calculation according to the HICP method also shows that Dutch inflation was 2.0 percent in January versus 1.8 percent in December. Eurostat, the European statistical office, calculated an inflation rate of 2.4 percent in the eurozone in January, an increase by 0.2 percentage points relative to December. The level of inflation in the eurozone is one of the main guidelines for the European Central Bank (ECB) to change or refrain from changing the interest rate. According to the ECB, prices in the eurozone are stable, if the inflation rate is close to 2 percent.
More figures can be found in dossier Business cycle.