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.
Raised consumer tax rates
On 1 January 2019, the low VAT rate was raised from 6 to 9 percent; 22.5 percent of all consumer goods and services qualify for this rate. The VAT rate change put upward pressure on prices of food, books and public transport, for example. On average, food prices were up by 3.3 percent year-on-year in January against 1.2 percent in the previous month. The price development of food had an upward effect on the consumer price index.
Consumer prices were pushed further upwards by the increased tax rates on and supply costs of gas and electricity. Energy prices were up by 17.4 percent year-on-year. In January versus 13.5 percent in December.
Cheaper home care
The price development of home care services had a downward effect on the consumer price index, partly due to lowering of the home care subscription fees. Furthermore, the price development of airline tickets and holiday park accommodations put downward pressure on the CPI in January.
|Housing, water and |
|Food and non alcoholic|
|Restaurants and hotels||0.2||0.23|
|Miscellaneous goods |
|Clothing and footwear||0.15||0.19|
|Alcoholic beverages and |
|Furnishing, household |
European harmonised consumer price index 2.0 percent up
In addition to the consumer price index (CPI), CBS also calculates the European harmonised price index (HICP).
In January, HICP-based prices of goods and services in the Netherlands were 2.0 percent up year-on-year. The figure for December has been adjusted from 1.9 to 1.8 percent. In the eurozone, the price increase was 1.4 percent in January
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.