Consumer prices 2.4 percent up in May

© Hollandse Hoogte
Statistics Netherlands (CBS) reports that the consumer price index (CPI) was 2.4 percent higher in May than in the same month last year. In April, prices of consumer goods and services were up by 2.9 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)
YearMonthYear-on-year change
2014January1.4
February1.1
March0.8
April1.2
May0.8
June0.9
July0.9
August1
September0.9
October1.1
November1
December0.7
2015January0
February0.2
March0.4
April0.6
May1.1
June1
July1
August0.8
September0.6
October0.6
November0.7
December0.7
2016January0.6
February0.6
March0.6
April0
May0
June0
July-0.2
August0.2
September0.1
October0.4
November0.6
December1
2017January1.7
February1.8
March1.1
April1.6
May1.1
June1.1
July1.3
August1.4
September1.5
October1.3
November1.5
December1.3
2018January1.5
February1.2
March1
April1.1
May1.7
June1.7
July2.1
August2.1
September1.9
October2.1
November2
December2
2019January2.2
February2.6
March2.8
April2.9
May2.4

Air fares lower

The year-on-year increase in the CPI was lower in May than in April, mainly due to the price development of air fares, package holidays abroad and holiday park accommodations. Prices for these services go up during school holidays and holiday periods. Because there were fewer public holidays in May 2019 than in May 2018, prices were lower on average.

The price development of petrol also had a downward effect on the consumer price index. In May, the price of petrol at the filling station was 3.5 percent up, while in April it was 6.0 percent up year-on-year. The average litre price of unleaded petrol was 1.72 euros in May.

CPI: Major contributions to year-on-year change (percentage point)
 MayApril
Total2.42.9
Housing, water and
energy
1.091.1
Food and non alcoholic
beverages
0.40.41
Restaurants and hotels0.240.31
Transport0.230.58
Miscellaneous goods
and services
0.190.22
Consumption abroad0.190.15
Clothing and footwear-0.09-0.13
Communications-0.17-0.17

Rise in consumer prices also lower in eurozone

In addition to the consumer price index (CPI), CBS also calculates the European harmonised price index (HICP).

In May, HICP-based prices of goods and services in the Netherlands were 2.3 percent up year-on-year versus 3.0 percent in April. In the eurozone, the price increase went down from 1.7 to 1.2 percent. In January 2019, the low VAT rate and energy taxes were raised in the Netherlands.

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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