Never before has inflation been so high in the Netherlands as last August, Statistics Netherlands announced this morning. Average prices for consumer goods and services were 12.0 percent more expensive in August than in the same month a year earlier.
Higher prices of energy (electricity, gas and district heating) in particular caused inflation to rise. Energy was 151 percent more expensive in August than in the same month a year earlier. In July this was 108 percent.
Food and clothing also became considerably more expensive, according to CBS. The average price of food in August was 13.1 percent more expensive than in the same month last year. In July, the annual price increase was 12.3 percent. This increase would have been particularly strong for pasta products.
Where inflation is not so bad is with motor fuels. Since the increase was lower than in July, fuel prices ‘have a downward effect on inflation’, according to the CBS.
European measurement method
Last week, CBS already reported inflation figures based on the harmonized European measurement method. It showed that inflation rose further last month to 13.6 percent, from 11.6 percent in July. This is mainly due to the persistently high prices for energy and foodstuffs. Inflation is always calculated on an annual basis. The 12 percent of August is therefore not on top of that of last month, but is a comparison with August 2021.
Statistics Netherlands’ own calculation method records, among other things, housing costs, such as rents. The European method does not take this into account. In July, the Dutch inflation rate was 10.3 percent on an annual basis.
Eurostat, the European statistics agency, announced last week that consumer prices in the eurozone rose to a new record level of 9.1 percent in August.
Press the ECB
The ever-rising inflation increases the pressure on the European Central Bank (ECB) to raise interest rates even more. The ECB will make a new interest rate decision on Thursday. The central bank may then raise interest rates by three quarters of a percentage point. In July, interest rates were raised by half a percentage point.
More and more economists fear that the eurozone economy could end up in recession due to interest rate hikes and high inflation as the purchasing power of households is put under severe pressure and people are more likely to keep their budget. Some companies have also had to shut down production due to high energy costs.
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