Consumer prices 1.3 percent up in October

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Statistics Netherlands (CBS) reports that the consumer price index (CPI) was 1.3 percent higher in October than in the same month last year. In September, prices of consumer goods and services were 1.4 percent up.

The consumer price index (CPI) is an important indicator for inflation, but is 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.

Petrol and clothing down in price

The year-on-year increase in consumer prices over October was lower than in September. This is mainly due to price developments of motor fuels and clothing. Petrol was 1.1 percent more expensive in October than in the same month last year, while the year-on-year price increase in September was as much as 4.7 percent. Consumers paid 2.7 percent less for clothing in October than in the same month last year. In September, the year-on-year price decrease was 1.3 percent.

CPI; major contributions to year-on-year change
 September 2017October 2017
Housing, water and
Food and non alcoholic
Recreation and culture0.230.21
Restaurants and hotels0.190.21
Miscellaneous goods
and services
Consumption abroad0.080.1
Clothing and footwear-0.04-0.12

Rise in Dutch consumer prices slightly lower than in eurozone

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 September to 1.3 percent in October. In the eurozone, the price increase of goods and services fell from 1.5 to 1.4 percent. This means that Dutch prices increased at a slightly lower rate than prices 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.