Inflation falls to 4.0 percent in January

The rate of inflation in the Netherlands fell to 4.0 percent in January 2002, 0.4 of a percent point down on December 2001. The effect of a number of tax increases on inflation in 2001is no longer reflected in the figures for 2002, reducing the rate by 0.9 of a percent point. Other developments pushed inflation up by 0.5 of a percent point.

Push and pull effect
Inflation was high in the Netherlands throughout 2001. One of the reasons for this was the increase in the rates of VAT and ecotax in January 2001. Because these no longer have an effect this year, inflation fell by 0.9 of a percent point; however, price developments for a number of articles pushed up inflation by 0.5 of a percent point. Price increases for fresh vegetables, motor fuels, flowers and plants and in the hotel and restaurant sector in particular contributed to inflation .

An article published today on Statistics Netherlands? website examines the components of inflation in January 2002 and whether there is a quantifiable separate effect on inflation of the introduction of the euro. Prices in January 0.8 percent higher than in December Prices rose by an average 0.8 percent between December 2001 and January 2002. Apart form the increase from December 2000 to January 2001, when the VAT increase came into effect and prices increased by 1.1 percent, such a large jump from December to January has not been observed since 1973/1974.

Consumers had to pay 25 percent more for fresh vegetables in January than in December. This is quite an exceptional increase, and was partly caused by disappointing crops in southern Europe. Fresh fruit cost about seven percent more. Other significant increases were reported for gas, motor fuels, flowers and plants, cable television and in the hotel and restaurant sector. Consumption-related taxes such as property tax, and sewage and refuse collection rates were also higher.

(source: Statistics Netherlands)

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