Less rapid consumer price increase in March

© Hollandse Hoogte / Richard Brocken
Statistics Netherlands (CBS) reports that the consumer price index (CPI) was 1.4 percent higher in March than in the same month last year. In February, prices of consumer goods and services were up by 1.6 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)
YearMonthYear-on-year change (year-on-year % change)
2015January0
2015February0.2
2015March0.4
2015April0.6
2015May1.1
2015June1
2015July1
2015August0.8
2015September0.6
2015October0.6
2015November0.7
2015December0.7
2016January0.6
2016February0.6
2016March0.6
2016April0
2016May0
2016June0
2016July-0.2
2016August0.2
2016September0.1
2016October0.4
2016November0.6
2016December1
2017January1.7
2017February1.8
2017March1.1
2017April1.6
2017May1.1
2017June1.1
2017July1.3
2017August1.4
2017September1.5
2017October1.3
2017November1.5
2017December1.3
2018January1.5
2018February1.2
2018March1
2018April1.1
2018May1.7
2018June1.7
2018July2.1
2018August2.1
2018September1.9
2018October2.1
2018November2
2018December2
2019January2.2
2019February2.6
2019March2.8
2019April2.9
2019May2.4
2019June2.7
2019July2.5
2019August2.8
2019September2.6
2019October2.7
2019November2.6
2019December2.7
2020January1.8
2020February1.6
2020March1.4

Decrease in motor fuel prices

Motor fuels were 4.1 percent cheaper than one year previously. As a result, the price development of motor fuels had a large downward effect on the consumer price increase. In March, the price of petrol at the filling station was on average 1.59 euros, down from 1.69 euros in February. Motor fuel, which includes diesel and LPG in addition to petrol, was 4.6 percent more expensive in February year-on-year.

Increase in food prices

Price developments of food - pork in particular - had an upward effect on consumer prices. In March, prices were 3.2 percent and in February 1.2 percent higher than in the same month last year.

CPI: Major contributions to year-on-year change
 March (percentage point)February (percentage point)
All items1.41.6
Food and non alcoholic
beverages
0.360.22
Miscellaneous goods
and services
0.310.33
Recreation and culture0.190.17
Consumption abroad0.120.13
Transport0.10.32
Housing, water and
energy
0.10.11
Restaurants and hotels0.090.13
Communication-0.03-0.04
Clothing and shoes-0.030.02

Consumer price rise in the Netherlands higher than in eurozone

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

In March, HICP-based prices of goods and services in the Netherlands were 1.1 percent up year-on-year, versus 1.3 percent in February. In the eurozone, the price increase went down from 1.2 percent in February to 0.7 percent in March.

HICP
yearmonthThe Netherlands (year-on-year % change)Euro area (year-on-year % change)
2015January-0.7-0.6
2015February-0.5-0.3
2015March-0.3-0.1
2015April00.2
2015May0.70.6
2015June0.50.5
2015July0.80.5
2015August0.40.4
2015September0.30.2
2015October0.40.4
2015November0.40.1
2015December0.50.3
2016January0.20.3
2016February0.3-0.1
2016March0.50
2016April-0.2-0.3
2016May-0.2-0.1
2016June-0.20
2016July-0.60.2
2016August0.10.2
2016September-0.10.4
2016October0.30.5
2016November0.40.6
2016December0.71.1
2017January1.61.7
2017February1.72
2017March0.61.5
2017April1.41.9
2017May0.71.4
2017June11.3
2017July1.51.3
2017August1.51.5
2017September1.41.6
2017October1.31.4
2017November1.51.5
2017December1.21.3
2018January1.51.3
2018February1.31.1
2018March11.4
2018April11.2
2018May1.92
2018June1.72
2018July1.92.2
2018August1.92.1
2018September1.62.1
2018October1.92.3
2018November1.81.9
2018December1.81.5
2019January21.4
2019February2.61.5
2019March2.91.4
2019April31.7
2019May2.31.2
2019June2.71.3
2019July2.61
2019August3.11
2019September2.70.8
2019October2.80.7
2019November2.61
2019December2.81.3
2020January1.71.4
2020February1.31.2
2020March1.10.7

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 developments in rental property prices.

Details on price monitoring in March

As a result of the measures taken by the Dutch government amid the coronavirus crisis, sales in a number of sectors came to a complete standstill in mid-March. For these sectors, Statistics Netherlands was nevertheless able to collect prices for the CPI. For package holidays and airline tickets, prices were taken until the moment when government measures came into force.

As of 1 January 2020, manual retail price observations are a thing of the past. CBS now collects price data in more innovative ways by using scanner data and web scrapers. As a result, the observation of prices of products and services is hardly affected by the measures taken by the government in connection with the COVID-19 crisis.

Sources

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