Inflation climbed to nearly 12 percent in March
Prices in the Netherlands have risen extremely fast since the outbreak of the war in Ukraine. According to Statistics Netherlands (CBS), inflation rose to 11.9 percent last month. In February, it was still just over 7 percent.
The stats office released the figure in anticipation of the announcement of eurozone inflation by Eurostat later in the day. The figure is based on the European harmonized method, created to allow a comparison of inflation data from different European countries. The calculation differs slightly from how Statistics Netherlands usually calculates inflation. These regular figures will be published next week.
Inflation in the Netherlands has been around the highest level in decades for some time now. Energy and fuel prices were already high even before the conflict in Ukraine. This is partly due to the rapid economic recovery from the coronavirus crisis, which created scarcity for many of many raw materials and also personnel in certain sectors.
The Russian invasion of Ukraine subsequently boosted prices even further. Since then, the oil and gas markets have been very concerned that the fuel supply from Russia could dry up. And because energy is becoming even more expensive, many other products are also increasing in price. Energy is needed to manufacture goods. Companies pass these higher costs on to consumers.
The Dutch government has already implemented measures to ease the pain for Dutch consumers. On Friday, a reduction of excise duty on fuel took effect, which means that motorists will pay less to fill up their cars. But this kind of support cannot wholly prevent Netherlands residents' purchasing power from declining this year, Prime Minister Mark Rutte has already warned.
Reporting by ANP.