Price developments mobile phones and banking services push inflation down
Price developments of mobile phones had a downward effect on inflation in April. Mobile phones were almost 15 percent cheaper than in April 2015. Services provided by banks were 10 percent cheaper on an annual basis. Banking account services became much cheaper for consumers.
Prices of holiday accommodations and airline fares also pushed down inflation because Easter 2016 was in March and Easter 2015 was in April. During public holidays and holiday periods, prices of these services are higher.
Inflation rate also lower excluding energy, food, alcohol and tobacco
As prices of energy and food products tend to vary considerably and alcohol and tobacco prices are frequently raised as a result of higher excise duty rates, inflation is also calculated excluding these product groups. According to this criterion, inflation fell to 0.6 percent in April. In March the rate was 1.3 percent.
Inflation rate in the Netherlands equals eurozone rate
In addition to the consumer price index (CPI), CBS also publishes the European harmonised price index (HICP).
In April, the Dutch HICP inflation rate was -0.2 percent, versus 0.5 percent in March. The eurozone rate fell from 0.0 percent in March to -0.2 percent in April. In recent months the eurozone inflation has been negative more than once.
The HICP is calculated according to the European harmonised method to facilitate comparison between the various EU member states. Price index figures for the eurozone and the European Union as a whole are calculated on the basis of the HICPs of the separate member states. The European Central Bank uses these figures to formulate its monetary policy.
Unlike the CPI, the HICP does not take into account the costs related to home ownership. In the Dutch CPI, these costs are calculated on the basis of rent levels. Because the rent increase is higher than the average price increase of other goods and services, the CPI-based inflation rate is currently higher than the HICP-based inflation rate.