Consumer prices 1.4 percent up in August

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Statistics Netherlands (CBS) reports that the consumer price index (CPI) was 1.4 percent higher in August than in August 2016. In July, prices of consumer goods and services were 1.3 percent up on a year-on-year basis.

The consumer price index (CPI) is an important indicator for inflation, but not the only one. It is an index for price changes in a basket of consumer goods and services, such as groceries, clothing, petrol, rent and insurance premiums. Inflation is a broader term which covers more than consumer goods and services; for example, prices of owner-occupied houses, manufactured products, shares and gold are also subject to change.

Clothing and petrol up in price

The year-on-year increase in consumer prices over August was higher than in July. This is mainly due to price developments of clothing and motor fuels. On an annual basis, clothing and fuel prices rose more sharply than in July.

Airplane tickets were more expensive than usual in July because of a record number of passengers. On the other hand, passenger flights were cheaper year-on-year in August , which had a downward effect on the consumer price index.

The average housing rent increase stood at 1.6 percent in July 2017, versus 1.9 percent in July 2016.

CPI; major contributions to year-on-year change
 July 2017August 2017
Food and non alcoholic
Housing, water and
Restaurants and hotels0.310.28
Recreation and culture0.180.16
Miscellaneous goods
and services
Consumption abroad0.070.05
Clothing and footwear-0.10

Rise in Dutch consumer prices equal to eurozone

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

Similar to July, HICP-based prices in the Netherlands in August were up 1.5 percent year-on-year. Across the eurozone, prices rose by 1.3 percent in July and 1.5 percent in August. This means Dutch prices increased increased at the same rate as in the eurozone.

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.