inflation falls slightly

© Hollandse Hoogte
  • Inflation 1 percent in November
  • Petrol cheaper
  • Inflation in the Netherlands equals eurozone

According to figures released today by Statistics Netherlands, Dutch inflation fell to 1 percent in November, from 1.1 percent in October.  Cheaper petrol pushed down inflation. In the eurozone, too, inflation fell slightly in November.

Petrol prices at three-year low

The lower inflation is the result of lower petrol prices. In November a litre of unleaded-95 petrol cost 1.63 euros, the lowest price for nearly three years. At the beginning of October 2012 the petrol price peaked at 1.83 euros. It now costs 5 euros less to fill a 25-litre tank.

The fall in the price of petrol is mainly the result of the sharp decrease in oil prices in recent months. A barrel of Brent crude oil cost 80 dollars in November, the cheapest it has been for over four years. The decrease in the petrol prices was tempered by the devaluation of the euro against the dollar.

Inflation fluctuating around 1 percent

Dutch inflation has been fluctuating around the 1 percent mark since the beginning of the year. This is because prices of large number of products and services on which consumers spend their money have risen hardly or not at all. 
As a result, the St Nicholas festivities - celebrated on 5 December - will also not be too expensive this year. Typical gifts for the celebration - such as chocolate, books, DVDs, perfume and jewellery - are cheaper than they were a year ago.  Only toys and confectionery cost more.

Eurozone inflation falls to 0.3 percent

The European harmonised consumer price index (HICP) is used to compare inflation rates of EU countries. One important difference between the HICP and the national inflation rate calculated in the Netherlands is that the HICP does not take into account costs connected with an own home.
Dutch inflation according to the HICP fell to 0.3 percent in November. This is equal to the average in the eurozone. In Germany, the largest economy in the eurozone, inflation is higher than in the Netherlands. In Italy it is slightly lower and Spain has been experiencing negative inflation for six months now. Greece has had negative inflation since the beginning of 2013.

The European Central Bank (ECB) defines price stability as inflation under but close to 2 percent. inflation in the eurozone has been below 1 percent since October 2013. The ECB is to meet today to discuss whether measures should be taken to increase inflation.