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.
|Year||Month||Year-on-year change (year-on-year % change)|
Increase in food and fuel prices
In March, consumers paid 3.8 percent more for food than one year previously, while in February prices increased by 3.2 percent. The increase in March is mainly due to higher fruit, meat and potato prices. In the past decade, the price increase of food has been this high only twice. Consumer prices were pushed further upwards by the price development of motor fuel as well. In March, the price of petrol at the filling station was 5.0 percent up , while in February it was 0.9 percent up year-on-year.
|March (percentage point)||February (percentage point)|
|Housing, water and |
|Food and non alcoholic|
|Restaurants and hotels||0.25||0.21|
|Miscellaneous goods |
|Recreation and culture||0.15||0.05|
|Clothing and footwear||0.1||0.21|
Rise in Dutch consumer prices higher than in eurozone
In addition to the consumer price index (CPI), CBS also calculates the European harmonised price index (HICP).
In March, HICP-based prices of goods and services in the Netherlands were 2.9 percent up year-on-year versus 2.6 percent in February. In the eurozone, the price increase went down from 1.5 to 1.4 percent. The increase in the Netherlands was twice as high as in the Eurozone.
|year||month||The Netherlands (year-on-year % change)||Euro area (year-on-year % change)|
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.