According to the consumer price index (CPI), inflation in the Netherlands climbed to 0.4 percent in March. In February, the price increase for consumers was 0.2 percent. Statistics Netherlands announced today that - after a substantial decline in January - inflation has risen for the second month in a row.
Inflation according to the European harmonised price index (HICP) used to regulate the monetary policy of the European Central Bank, has risen to -0.3 percent in March, slightly less negative than in February when the rate stood at -0.5 percent.
Petrol more expensive
The price of petrol contributed noticeably to the higher inflation rate in March. In January, the lower crude oil price still pushed down motor fuel prices, but since February the petrol price at the filling station has been rising again. In March, petrol prices were nearly 6 percent down from one year previously, but in February the year-on-year price decrease was larger.
Airline ticket prices had a downward effect on inflation. Price developments on the oil market affect airline ticket prices with some delay, because airline companies purchase their fuel in advance. As a result, the effects were not noticeable until March.
Inflation excluding energy, food, alcohol and tobacco marginally up
Price developments for food and energy show a very irregular pattern and prices for alcohol and tobacco products are frequently raised as a result of changes in tax legislation. Therefore, inflation is also monitored excluding these product groups. In that case, the rate has risen by 0.1 percentage points to 1.0 percent in March.
Inflation rate adjusted from 0.1 to 0.2 percent in February 2015
The definitive CPI inflation figure for February was 0.2 percent, versus 0.1 percent according to the first preliminary estimate. On an annual basis, motor fuel prices appear to have fallen less rapidly in February than initially calculated in the first publication over February.
Dutch inflation rate below eurozone level
HICP according to the European harmonised method facilitates comparison between the inflation rates in the various EU countries. Price index figures for the eurozone and the entire European Union are calculated on the basis of the HICPs of the individual member states.
The inflation rate in the Netherlands calculated according to the HICP increased to -0.3 percent in March, but remained below the average level across the eurozone, where inflation rose to -0.1 percent. For the fourth consecutive month, the inflation rate in the Netherlands and in the eurozone was negative.
Unlike the CPI, the HICP does not take into account the costs related to home ownership. In the CPI, these costs are calculated on the basis of house rents. Since the rent increase for residential property was fairly high last year, inflation according to the HICP is currently lower than according to the Dutch method.