Consumer prices 1.1 percent higher than one year ago

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Statistics Netherlands (CBS) reports that the consumer price index (CPI) was 1.1 percent higher in May 2017 than in May 2016. In April, prices of consumer goods and services were 1.6 percent higher on a year-on-year basis.

Lower prices airline tickets and holiday park accommodations

Mainly because airline tickets and holiday park accommodations became cheaper, consumer prices rose less rapidly in May. In April prices for these services had gone up during the school holiday period. In May prices slumped again as the demand for holiday services decreased. Motor fuel prices fell in May, which also had a downward effect on inflation.

Consumer prices excluding energy, food, alcohol and tobacco rose also less rapidly

Energy and food prices vary considerably, while alcohol and tobacco prices are frequently adjusted as a result of higher excise duties. Therefore, the consumer price index is also measured without taking these product groups into account. According to this criterion, consumer prices rose by 0.8 percent on an annual basis in May, versus 1.3 percent in April.

CPI for underlying clusters
 Mar 2017Apr 2017May 2017
Inflation without energy,
food, alcohol and tobacco
Food, alcohol and tobacco1.71.52.1
Goods without energy,
food, alcohol and tobacco

Increase eurozone prices also slows down

In addition to the consumer price index (CPI), CBS also calculates the European harmonised price index (HICP).

HICP-based prices in the Netherlands fell from 1.4 percent in April to 0.7 percent in May. The eurozone rate decreased from 1.9 to 1.4 percent.

The 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 individual member states. The European Central Bank (ECB) 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.