Inflation in the Netherlands was 1.1 percent in February, i.e. 0.3 percentage points lower than in January. The decrease was mainly due to petrol prices. Food prices also had a downward effect on inflation. In February, the lowest level in more than three and a half years was reached. Inflation is defined as the increase in the consumer price index (CPI) in a particular month compared to the same month in the previous year.
Dutch inflation rate
The harmonised consumer price index (HICP) allows comparison between the inflation rates in the various member states of the European Union (EU). 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.
Since October 2012, the Netherlands has ranked among the countries with the highest inflation rate in the eurozone. This was largely due to tax measures. The inflation rate in the Netherlands, calculated according to the HICP method has fallen considerably since the summer of 2003. In February, the rate stood at 0.4 percent. Eurostat, the European statistical office, calculated an inflation rate for the eurozone of 0.7 percent. For the first time in quite a while, Dutch inflation is below the average level in the eurozone.
Dutch inflation according to HICP
More figures can be found in the Business cycle dossier.For more information on economic indicators, see the Economic Monitor.