Consumer prices 2.2 percent up in January

Statistics Netherlands (CBS) reports that the consumer price index (CPI) was 2.2 percent higher in January 2019 than in the same month last year. This is the largest price increase after September 2013. In December, prices of consumer goods and services were up by 2.0 percent year-on-year.

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.

Consumer price index (CPI) (year-on-year % change)
2014 January1.4
2014 February1.1
2014 March0.8
2014 April1.2
2014 May0.8
2014 June0.9
2014 July0.9
2014 August1
2014 September0.9
2014 October1.1
2014 November1
2014 December0.7
2015 January0
2015 February0.2
2015 March0.4
2015 April0.6
2015 May1.1
2015 June1
2015 July1
2015 August0.8
2015 September0.6
2015 October0.6
2015 November0.7
2015 December0.7
2016 January0.6
2016 February0.6
2016 March0.6
2016 April0
2016 May0
2016 June0
2016 July-0.2
2016 August0.2
2016 September0.1
2016 October0.4
2016 November0.6
2016 December1
2017 January1.7
2017 February1.8
2017 March1.1
2017 April1.6
2017 May1.1
2017 June1.1
2017 July1.3
2017 August1.4
2017 September1.5
2017 October1.3
2017 November1.5
2017 December1.3
2018 January1.5
2018 February1.2
2018 March1
2018 April1.1
2018 May1.7
2018 June1.7
2018 July2.1
2018 August2.1
2018 September1.9
2018 October2.1
2018 November2.0
2018 December2.0
2019 January2.2

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.

CPI: Major contributions to year-on-year change (percentage point)
Housing, water and
Food and non alcoholic
Restaurants and hotels0.20.23
Miscellaneous goods
and services
Clothing and footwear0.150.19
Consumption abroad0.140.2
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

HICP (year-on-year % change)
 NetherlandsEuro area
2014 January0.80.8
2014 February0.40.7
2014 March0.10.5
2014 April0.60.7
2014 May0.10.5
2014 June0.30.5
2014 July0.30.4
2014 August0.40.4
2014 September0.30.3
2014 October0.40.4
2014 November0.30.3
2014 December-0.1-0.2
2015 January-0.7-0.6
2015 February-0.5-0.3
2015 March-0.3-0.1
2015 April00
2015 May0.70.3
2015 June0.50.2
2015 July0.80.2
2015 August0.40.1
2015 September0.3-0.1
2015 October0.40.1
2015 November0.40.1
2015 December0.50.2
2016 January0.20.3
2016 February0.3-0.2
2016 March0.50
2016 April-0.2-0.2
2016 May-0.2-0.1
2016 June-0.20.1
2016 July-0.60.2
2016 August0.10.2
2016 September-0.10.4
2016 October0.30.5
2016 November0.40.6
2016 December0.71.1
2017 January1.61.8
2017 February1.72
2017 March0.61.5
2017 April1.41.9
2017 May0.71.4
2017 June11.3
2017 July1.51.3
2017 August1.51.5
2017 September1.41.5
2017 October1.31.4
2017 November1.51.5
2017 December1.21.4
2018 January1.51.3
2018 February1.31.1
2018 March11.3
2018 April11.3
2018 May1.91.9
2018 June1.72
2018 July1.92.1
2018 August1.92
2018 September1.62.1
2018 October1.92.2
2018 November1.81.9
2018 December1.81.6
2019 January21.4

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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