Less rapid consumer price increase in April

© Hollandse Hoogte / Richard Brocken
Statistics Netherlands (CBS) reports that the consumer price index (CPI) was 1.2 percent higher in April than in the same month last year. In March, prices of consumer goods and services were up by 1.4 percent year-on-year. The lower increase is mainly due to the price development of petrol.

The consumer price index (CPI) is one of the most important indicators for inflation. 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
2020April1.2

Sustained decline in motor fuel prices

The price development of motor fuels had a downward effect on consumer price inflation. In April, motor fuels were 13.4 percent cheaper than in the same month last year, against a year-on-year decline of 4.1 in March. In April, the average price of petrol at the filling station was 1.47 euros per litre. This is the lowest price recorded since October 2016. Year-on-year, it declined by 13.8 percent versus 3.3 percent decline in March.

Dutch price increase higher than eurozone average

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

In April, HICP-based prices of goods and services in the Netherlands were 1.0 percent up year-on-year, down from 1.1 percent increase in March. The price increase in the eurozone went down from 0.7 percent in March to 0.4 percent in April.

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
2020April10.4

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 developments in rental property prices. 

Implications of the coronavirus crisis for consumer price measurements in April

As a result of government measures, the services of e.g. airlines, restaurants and hairdressers were virtually unavailable in April. As a consequence, for many of these services there were no transactions for which prices could be measured. In line with Eurostat guidelines, the statistical office of the European Union, CBS chose the most appropriate estimation method for each situation. The product groups within which prices had to be estimated in relation to corona account for around 14 percent of consumptive expenditure.

Sources

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