Clothing and petrol prices contribute to lower inflation rate
Clothing prices in particular brought inflation down. Year-on-year, clothing prices were more than 4.5 percent down during the sales in March, while in February clothing prices were higher than one year previously. Petrol prices also had a downward effect on inflation.
Inflation rate excluding energy, food, alcohol and tobacco lower
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 fell to 0.6 percent in March, versus 1.3 percent in February.
Eurozone inflation rate also lower
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 decreased from 1.7 percent in February to 0.6 percent in March. The eurozone rate went down from 2.0 to 1.5 percent. Since May 2016 the Dutch rate has been below the eurozone level.
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.