Consumer prices 0.9 percent up in April

08/05/2018 15:00
© Hollandse Hoogte
Statistics Netherlands (CBS) reports that the consumer price index (CPI) was 0.9 percent higher in April than in the same month last year. In March, prices of consumer goods and services were 1.0 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.

Air fares and holiday park accommodation rates lower

The year-on-year increase in consumer prices over April was lower than in March. This is mainly due to price developments of air fares, package holidays abroad and holiday park accommodations. Prices for these services go up during public holidays and holiday periods. In 2017, the May holiday period fell in April for the most part, while this year’s spring holiday is mainly in May. As a result, air fares were on average 10.7 percent cheaper in April 2018 than in the same month last year.

Petrol up in price

The price development of petrol had a upward effect on the consumer price index. In April, the consumer price for a litre of petrol at the filling station was 1.61 euros, the highest price level recorded since august 2015. Compared to April 2017, the price increase was 1.8 percent, while in March 2018 the consumer price for petrol decreased slightly year-on-year.

Rise in Dutch consumer prices 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 decreased from 1.0 percent in March to 0.7 percent in April. In the eurozone, the price increase of goods and services decreased from 1.3 to 1.2 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.


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