Inflation nearly halved in March; Food much more expensive

Life for Dutch households became 4.4 percent more expensive in March than a year earlier, Statistics Netherlands reported. Inflation was considerably lower than in February when prices rose by an average of 8 percent. The decrease was mainly due to falling energy prices. Food and drinks became much more expensive.

According to provisional figures for March, the prices of food and non-alcoholic drinks rose by almost 18 percent. Bread and cereals became nearly a fifth more expensive. Fruit cost about a tenth more than in March 2022. On the other hand, energy was over 36 percent cheaper than a year earlier. Refueling costs motorists about 9 percent less.

These figures are based on Statistics Netherlands’ own calculator method. The Dutch statistics office also calculated inflation based on the European harmonized method, making it easier to compare to other countries. That method doesn’t include housing costs like rent.

Collectively agreed wages rose by 5 percent in March, according to provisional figures. That means wages rose faster than inflation for the first time in over a year. In the previous months, many households saw their purchasing power decline, prompting the government to take measures to ease the pain. One such measure was the price cap on energy. But due to the falling gas prices, more and more energy suppliers are now offering rates below the cap.

Reporting by ANP

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