Rising inflation is hitting households across many European countries, but in the Netherlands, inflation has reached a staggering 17.1%, according to the Dutch Statistic Office (CBS).
Using the Harmonised Index of Consumer Prices (HICP), a European calculation method, Dutch statisticians have calculated that inflation in the country, driven by rising food and energy prices, has reached 17.1%, a record high, and up from 13.7% in August.
By contrast, the average inflation rate in Europe in August was 10.1%, according to Eurostat, the EU's statistical office. In Belgium, it is at 11.27%, the highest since 1975. As elsewhere in Europe, inflation in the Netherlands is driven by high gas and electricity prices, which in turn also have an impact on food prices.
However, CBS noted that this is an initial estimate based on still incomplete source data. "The regular figures, including inflation according to the Dutch consumer price index (CPI), will be published on 6 October," a statement from CBS stated.
Because CBS calculates energy price trends, which have the biggest impact on inflation, on the basis of new contracts, meaning the calculation assumes that all Dutch households have concluded new variable energy contracts, which have risen enormously in price in the last month.
CBS is now investigating a new method for measuring and calculating energy prices by using data provided by the energy companies operating in the country. The first, preliminary calculations using this method have been carried out, showing that inflation is significantly lower than the figure published now indicates.
However, even when using the new method, inflation will likely be slightly higher in the Netherlands, because almost all households are heated on natural gas. In other countries, including Belgium, people also heat on fuel oil, of which the prices have risen less sharply than natural gas prices in recent months.
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Additionally, the calculation used by the harmonised European method is always higher than the method used by the Dutch statistical office. The latter includes the development of housing costs, such as rent — unlike the HICP. The European method was created to facilitate comparisons between countries in the EU.
The lowest annual rate was registered in France (6.6%), while the highest annual rate was recorded in Estonia (25.2%) in August 2022, according to Eurostat.