The rate at which prices are rising in the Netherlands increased faster in May than a month earlier. This was mainly because energy prices fell less sharply last month than in April. Food, beverages, and tobacco prices also rose again, albeit less sharply than in April. And the costs of industrial goods also increased.
Statistics Netherlands (CBS) reported in a quick first estimate that inflation amounted to 6.1 percent last month. In April, inflation unexpectedly increased to 5.2 percent on an annual basis, from 4.4 percent in March. That was mainly due to a less pronounced fall in energy prices, but more expensive food also played a role. At its peak in September last year, inflation was 14.5 percent.
The average price increase for supermarket products was 12.8 percent last month, compared to 13.2 percent in April. Prices of industrial goods rose by 8.9 percent, against 8.3 percent a month earlier. Energy, including motor fuels, on the other hand, became 18.5 percent cheaper after dropping more than 22 percent in April. Services became 6.1 percent more expensive after a price increase of 6 percent a month earlier.
To make a good comparison with other European countries, CBS also provides inflation figures according to the European calculation method, which does not consider house rents, among other things. Inflation then amounted to 6.8 percent, compared to 5.8 percent in April.
Later today, the European statistics agency Eurostat will release inflation figures for the entire eurozone. In April, annual inflation in the euro area was 7.0 percent. Earlier this week, it appeared that inflation in Germany, France, and Spain cooled down in May.
With inflation above the target of 2 percent, the European Central Bank (ECB) will likely continue to raise interest rates. ECB policymakers will meet again in mid-June. An interest rate hike of a quarter of a percentage point is generally expected to reduce inflation.
Reporting by ANP