Consumer prices 1.7 percent up in 2018

© Hollandse Hoogte
Statistics Netherlands (CBS) reports that consumer prices rose by 1.7 percent on average in 2018 relative to the previous year. This is the largest increase since 2014. In 2013 consumer prices rose even more sharply, partly due to the raising of the high VAT rate from 19 to 21 percent in October 2012.

In 2018, goods became 1.9 percent more expensive while the price of services went up by 1.5 percent on average.

Consumer price index (CPI) (Year-on-year % change)
YearsChange
19655.2
19665.8
19673.1
19683.7
19697.5
19704.4
19717.6
19727.8
19738
19749.6
197510.2
19768.8
19776.7
19784.1
19794.2
19806.5
19816.7
19826
19832.8
19843.3
19852.3
19860.2
1987-0.5
19880.7
19891.1
19902.5
19913.9
19923.7
19932.1
19942.7
19952
19962.1
19972.2
19982
19992.2
20002.6
20014.5
20023.4
20032.1
20041.2
20051.7
20061.1
20071.6
20082.5
20091.2
20101.3
20112.3
20122.5
20132.5
20141
20150.6
20160.3
20171.4
20181.7

Electricity and natural gas more expensive

The higher average increase in last year’s consumer prices is mainly related to the price development of electricity and natural gas. In 2018, electricity prices went up by an average 15.7 percent year-on-year; the increase amounted to 1.1 percent in 2017. The price of natural gas rose by 7.5 percent in 2018, against a 2.1 percent increase in the previous year. Both levies and delivery tariffs for electricity and natural gas were substantially higher in 2018.

Personal care products as well became more expensive in 2018. Food prices increased less substantially compared to 2017, which had a downward effect on the CPI increase.

CPI: Major contributors to year-on-year change (percentage point)
 20182017
Total1.71.4
Housing, water and
energy
0.760.4
Transport0.330.32
Miscellaneous goods
and services
0.240.07
Accommodation and food services0.170.21
Consumption abroad0.120.13
Food and non-alcoholic
beverages
0.090.31
Alcoholic beverages and
tobacco
0.080.03
Recreation and culture0.070.14
Communication-0.18-0.22

Sharpest rise in electricity bills

Electricity and gas were among the products and services rising most sharply in price last year. Considerable price rises were also seen in the category ‘other insurances’ such as liability and legal expenses insurances. At 0.9 percent, the price increase of food was lower than the average price increase of goods and services in 2018.

Mobile phone subscriptions showed the sharpest price drop in price last year; prices of mobile phones and sound and audio equipment declined as well.

Top 5 largest price increases and decreases (Year-on-year % change)
Goods and servicesYear-on-year % change
Electricity15.7
Other insurances10.1
Transport abroad7.6
Natural gas7.5
Games, toys and hobbies7
Photographic equipment and optical instruments-4.6
Major tools and equipment-4.8
Mobile telephones-7.7
Audiovisual equipment-9.1
Mobile telephone services-14.5

CAO wages rose faster than consumer prices

Collectively agreed (CAO) wages rose faster than consumer prices in 2018. Wages increased by 2.1 percent in 2018, the sharpest rise since 2010. In 2017, the increase in CAO wages was equal to the rise in consumer prices.

CPI and collectively agreed wages (Year-on-year % change)
YearsCollectively agreed wages (CAO)Consumer prices
20083.32.5
20092.81.2
20101.31.3
20111.12.3
20121.42.5
20131.22.5
20140.91
20151.40.6
20161.80.3
20171.41.4
20182.11.7

Rise in Dutch consumer prices slightly under eurozone level

Aside from the Dutch consumer price index (CPI), CBS also publishes the European harmonised index of consumer prices (HICP).

Based on the HICP, prices increased by 1.6 percent on average in 2018, while the increase across the eurozone amounted to 1.7 percent. Both in the Netherlands and in the eurozone, the price rise was significantly higher than in the preceding four years.

HICP (Year-on-year % change)
PeriodThe NetherlandsEurozone
19971.91.6
19981.81.1
199921.1
20002.32.1
20015.12.3
20023.92.2
20032.22.1
20041.42.1
20051.52.2
20061.62.2
20071.62.1
20082.23.3
200910.3
20100.91.6
20112.52.7
20122.82.5
20132.61.4
20140.30.4
20150.20
20160.10.2
20171.31.5
20181.61.7

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.

Sources

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