|Year||Month||Year-on-year change (year-on-year % change)|
Motor fuel prices on the rise
In April, the price development of motor fuels had an upward effect on the inflation rate. Fuel prices were 18.3 percent higher than one year previously; motor fuels were 10.7 percent more expensive year-on-year in the previous month. Consumers paid an average of 1.746 euros per litre for petrol. This was still 1.468 euros per litre one year previously. The price of a litre for diesel increased year-on-year from 1.224 to 1.387 euros. In addition to motor fuels, the price development of electricity, gas, clothing and footwear also had an upward effect on inflation.
Food had a downward effect
On the other hand, food products had a downward effect on inflation. This was mainly due to the price development of vegetables, fruit and bread and cereal products (including pasta). Food products were on average 2.2 percent cheaper in April than twelve months previously. In March, food prices were 1.3 percent lower year-on-year.
Euro area inflation rate rises to 1.6 percent
Aside from the consumer price index (CPI), CBS also calculates the European harmonised index of consumer prices (HICP). In April, consumer goods and services in the Netherlands according to the European harmonised consumer price index (HICP) were 1.7 percent more expensive in April than twelve months previously. This was 1.9 percent in March. Inflation in the euro area rose from 1.3 to 1.6 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 euro area 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
Due to coronavirus-related government measures, in April many services, e.g. by airlines and restaurants, were either limited or unavailable. As a consequence, there were no transactions for these services that allowed for price measurements. According to Eurostat guideline, 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 5 percent of consumptive expenditure.
The coronavirus crisis has significantly changed consumers' spending patterns. The change in consumption pattern will affect inflation in 2021.