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Inflation rate in November in Netherlands highest in nearly 40 years

Christian Fernsby |
Statistics Netherlands (CBS) reports that the consumer price index (CPI) was 5.2 percent higher in November than in the same month last year.

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The inflation rate in November was the highest in nearly 40 years. In October, the inflation rate stood at 3.4 percent. The rapid increase in inflation is mainly due to the price development of gas and electricity, motor fuels, food and clothing.

Gas and electricity prices rose further in November. The year on year price increase for gas went up from 30.6 percent in October to 53.0 percent in November.

Electricity was 74.9 percent more expensive in November than one year previously. In October, the year on year price increase was 39.6 percent. The contribution of gas and electricity to the 5.2 percent inflation in November was more than 2 percentage points.

In addition to gas and electricity, motor fuels also became more expensive in November. The price increase of petrol amounted to 31.4 percent relative to November 2020. In October, petrol was 24.7 percent more expensive than one year previously. The average price of diesel and LPG rose as well in November.

The price development of food and clothing also had an upward effect on inflation. Food was 1.1 percent more expensive in November than one year previously. In October, food prices were up by 0.2 percent.

This is mainly due to the price development of potatoes, fruit and coffee. Clothing was 5.2 percent more expensive in November year on year. In October, clothing prices were up by 3.0 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 5.9 percent more expensive in November than in the same month last year, up from 3.7 percent in October.

Inflation according to the HICP, measured from 1997, has never been this high. In the first estimate on November 30, the price increase was 5.6 percent.

Inflation in the euro area rose from 4.1 in October to 4.9 percent in November, according to provisional figures. Inflation in the Netherlands is therefore higher than inflation in the euro area for the first time since May.

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.

Due to the government's COVID 19 countermeasures, some services have been either limited or unavailable since April 2020. 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.


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