Strongest inflation in almost 20 years

© CBS / Alrik Swagerman
Statistics Netherlands (CBS) reports that the consumer price index (CPI) was 3.4 percent higher in October than in the same month last year. The inflation rate stood at 2.7 percent in September. The inflation rate in October was the highest in nearly 20 years. The price development of gas and electricity, among other things, contributed to the higher inflation.

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
2020May1.2
2020June1.6
2020July1.7
2020August0.7
2020September1.1
2020October1.2
2020November0.8
2020December1
2021January1.6
2021February1.8
2021March1.9
2021April1.9
2021May2.1
2021June2
2021July1.4
2021August2.4
2021September2.7
2021October3.4

Rising energy prices

The increase in inflation was mainly due to higher electricity and gas prices. The year-on-year price increase for gas went up from 18.3 percent in September to 30.6 percent in October. Electricity was 39.6 percent more expensive in October than one year previously. In September, the year-on-year price increase was 24.4 percent.

Price index gas
Month2021 (2015=100)2020 (2015=100)
January127.59130.57
February128.89129.91
March129.99128.54
April130.69127.12
May130.63126.43
June132.32125.91
July137.73122.96
August139.54123.06
September145.74123.22
October161.18123.39

Motor fuels and clothing also more expensive

The price development of motor fuels also had an upward effect on inflation. Motor fuels were 27.3 percent more expensive in October than one year previously. In September, the year-on-year price increase was 20.4 percent. Consumers paid an average of 1.94 euros per litre for petrol, 1.61 euros for diesel and 0.89 euros for LPG in October. The price development of clothing also contributed to higher inflation.

CPI: Major contributions to year-on-year change
 October (percentage point)September (percentage point)
All items3.42.7
Housing, water and
energy
1.400.97
Transport1.120.91
Miscellaneous goods
and services
0.240.26
Furnishing and household
equipment
0.220.19
Recreation and culture0.180.18
Restaurants and hotels0.130.19
Clothing and shoes0.110.01
Education-0.30-0.30

Increase HICP in the euro area 4.1 percent

Aside from the consumer price index (CPI), CBS also calculates the European harmonised consumer price index (HICP). According to the European HICP, consumer goods and services in the Netherlands were 3.7 percent more expensive in October than in the same month last year, up from 3.0 percent in September. Inflation in the euro area rose from 3.4 to 4.1 percent.

Harmonised Index of Consumer Prices (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
2020April10.3
2020May1.10.1
2020June1.70.3
2020July1.60.4
2020August0.3-0.2
2020September1-0.3
2020October1.2-0.3
2020November0.7-0.3
2020December0.9-0.3
2021January1.60.9
2021February1.90.9
2021March1.91.3
2021April1.71.6
2021May22
2021June1.71.9
2021July1.42.2
2021August2.73
2021September33.4
2021October3.74.1

The HICP is compiled according to the European harmonised method to facilitate comparison across EU member states. Price indices for the euro area and the European Union as a whole are calculated based on the HICPs of the individual member states. The European Central Bank (ECB) uses these figures to formulate its monetary policy.

The main conceptual difference between the CPI and the HICP for the Netherlands is that, unlike the CPI, the HICP does not take into account the costs of homeownership. In the Dutch CPI, these costs are calculated based on developments in rental property prices.

Implications of the coronavirus crisis for consumer price measurements

Due to the government's COVID-19 countermeasures, some services have been either limited or unavailable since April 2020, such as intercontinental flights in October. As a result, there were no transactions for some of these services that allowed for price measurements. In accordance with the Eurostat guidelines, CBS opted for the most appropriate estimation method in each situation.

The coronavirus pandemic has significantly changed consumers’ spending patterns. The change in consumption patterns will affect inflation in 2021.