Higher motor fuel and clothing prices drive inflation up
Motor fuel and clothing prices pushed up inflation in February. The consumer price for a litre of petrol at the filling station was 1.58 euros, i.e. 18 eurocents more than in February 2016 and the highest price level recorded since August 2015. Clothing prices were more than 5 percent up from February last year. Food prices also drove inflation up.
Inflation rate excluding energy, food, alcohol and tobacco
Energy and food prices vary significantly and alcohol and tobacco prices are frequently raised as a result of higher excise duties. Therefore, inflation is also measured excluding these product groups. According to this criterion, the rate was 1.3 percent in February, versus 1.4 percent in January.
Dutch rate rises more rapidly the eurozone rate
In addition to the consumer price index (CPI), CBS also calculates the European harmonised price index (HICP).
The HICP-based rate of inflation in the Netherlands increased from 1.6 percent in January to 1.7 percent in February. The eurozone rate went up from 1.8 to 2.0 percent over the same period. Since May 2016 the Dutch rate has been lower than the eurozone rate.
The Harmonised Index of Consumer Prices (HICP) is compiled according to the European harmonised method in order to facilitate comparison between the various EU member states. Price indices 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 (ECB) uses these figures to formulate its monetary policy. According to the ECB, prices are stable, if the inflation rate is close to 2 percent.
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.