|Year||Month||Year-on-year change (year-on-year % change)|
Motor fuel prices on the rise
In March, fuel prices were 10.7 percent higher than one year previously, while motor fuels were 0.7 percent more expensive in February year-on-year. Consumers paid an average of 1.730 euros per litre for petrol, 1.392 euros for diesel and 0.739 euros for LPG in March. Fuel prices are partly determined by oil prices on the world market. The price for a barrel of North Sea Brent oil has risen in recent months, to 65.65 US dollars in March 2021. The price of a barrel stood at 34.48 US dollars one year previously.
Price developments of clothing and energy also had an upward effect
Inflation also increased due to higher variable energy prices for households. Electricity was 2.4 percent cheaper than one year previously, but in February the price was 5.2 percent down year-on-year. Gas was 1.1 percent more expensive in March 2021, while it was 0.8 percent cheaper in February relative to the same month last year. Clothing was more expensive as well compared to last year. In March, the increase was 2.7 percent, against 0.8 percent in the previous month.
Food products, on the other hand, had a downward effect on inflation. This is mainly due to the price development of vegetables, meat, fruit and potatoes. Food products were on average 1.3 percent cheaper in March than twelve months previously. In February, food prices were still 0.4 percent higher year-on-year.
|March (percentage point)||February (percentage point)|
|Housing, water and |
|Miscellaneous goods |
|Alcoholic beverages and |
|Restaurants and hotels||0.27||0.25|
|Recreation and culture||0.15||0.21|
|Furnishing and household |
|Clothing and footwear||0.06||0.01|
|Food and non-alcoholic |
Eurozone inflation rises to 1.3 percent
Just as in February, consumer goods and services in the Netherlands according to the European harmonised consumer price index (HICP) were 1.9 percent more expensive in March than twelve months previously. Inflation in the eurozone rose, mainly due to higher energy prices, from 0.9 to 1.3 percent.
|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 developments in rental property prices.
Implications of the coronavirus crisis for consumer price measurements in March
Due to coronavirus-related government measures, in March the extent of services by e.g. airlines and restaurants was either limited or unavailable. As a consequence, for many of these services there were no transactions that allowed for price measurements. In line with guidelines from Eurostat, the statistical office of the European Union, CBS has chosen the most appropriate estimation method in each situation. The product groups that required price estimates due to the coronavirus measures account for around 6 percent of consumptive expenditure.
The coronavirus crisis has significantly changed consumers' spending patterns. The change in consumption pattern will affect inflation in 2021.