Energy prices push inflation to highest level since 1976
Life in the Netherlands was 9.7 percent more expensive in March than a year earlier. That is the highest inflation since April 1976, reported Statistics Netherlands (CBS). The already high prices rose even further due to the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Prices for electricity, gas, and district heating skyrocketed. Food also became more expensive.
Inflation is much higher in the first whole month since the start of the war than in February, when prices rose 6.2 percent year on year. Because Russia is an oil and gas-rich country, the prices for those raw materials are rising. As a result, the bill for gas, electricity, and district heating for newly concluded contracts was 157 percent higher than in March 2021. Motorists lost over 36 percent more when refueling.
Food prices also rose faster than a month earlier. That was mainly because meat and vegetables became more expensive. A factor here is that gas is often used to heat greenhouses. But farmers also have to deal with high costs for fertilizers or raw materials for animal feed.
Last week, the Dutch stats office announced that inflation in the Netherlands had risen to almost 12 percent according to the European harmonized method. This is CBS's monthly figure based on its own calculation, which includes things like housing costs. The European method does not take that into account.
Reporting by ANP