Edition 2020

Photo description: Someone stirring in a pot on the stove.

Which prices are up, which are down?

In July 2020, consumer goods and services in the Netherlands were on average 1.7 percent more expensive than one year previously. In the first seven months of 2020, prices were on average 1.5 percent higher than in the same period in 2019. Inflation was 1.8 percent in January, fell to 1.2 percent in April and May, and rose again in June and July. Inflation was still 2.6 percent in 2019.

Which prices are up, which are down?Food and non-alcoholic beveragesClothing and footwearHome furnishings and appliancesFuels and lubricantsEducationAlcoholic beveragesHousing, water and energyRecreation and cultureTransportEnergyTobaccoHealthCommunication+0.9%All expenditure+1.7%+1.9%+1.6%-7.1%+0.2%+1.1%+0.5%+1.8-1.4%Restaurants and hotels+4.2%+18.7%-12.9%+0.1%+3.1%
Consumer prices (year-on-year % change)
Year maand Consumer prices
2019 January, 2019 2.2
2019 February, 2019 2.6
2019 March, 2019 2.8
2019 April, 2019 2.9
2019 May, 2019 2.4
2019 June, 2019 2.7
2019 July, 2019 2.5
2019 August, 2019 2.8
2019 September, 2019 2.6
2019 October, 2019 2.7
2019 November, 2019 2.6
2019 December, 2019 2.7
2020 January, 2020 1.8
2020 February, 2020 1.6
2020 March, 2020 1.4
2020 April, 2020 1.2
2020 May, 2020 1.2
2020 June, 2020 1.6
2020 July, 2020 1.7

Tobacco products considerably more expensive

The prices of tobacco products have risen sharply in 2020. In July 2020, tobacco prices were nearly 19 percent higher than in the same month twelve months previously. This price increase is mainly the result of two excise duty hikes. As of 1 April, the excise duty on a packet of 20 cigarettes was increased by 1 euro, after it had already risen by 14 cents on 1 January. An additional 2.50 euros in excise has been levied on 50 grams of rolling tobacco since 1 April. Never before has an excise duty hike been as hefty as the April increase of this year. In fact, the cost of smoking has been rising for some time now: since July 2000 the price of tobacco products has risen by more than 200 percent.

Over the same period, prices of all consumer goods and services rose by 45 percent.

Food slightly more expensive

In the first six months of 2020, price changes for food products and non-alcoholic beverages also led to higher inflation. The price increase was relatively high in March, April and May, in particular. Prices were 3.5 percent higher in April than in they had been in 2019. In that month, meat products were 8 percent more expensive than one year before, and fruit 6.4 percent. Prices of food products and non-alcoholic beverages were 1.9 percent higher in July 2020 than in July 2019, i.e. the price increase is comparable to the level of inflation for all consumer goods and services.

Energy cheaper

The average consumer energy bill fell sharply in 2020: in July 2020 energy bills were 12.9 percent lower compared to one year earlier. This is due to amended tax rules and developments in the energy market. The largest difference is found in the tax credit received by each household. This year, households are receiving a fixed amount of 216 more euros in their energy tax rebate compared to 2019. Variable supply tariffs for gas and electricity also fell in the first half of 2020.

Savings at the pump

Motor fuel prices also fell in the first months of 2020. Taken together, petrol, diesel and LPG were 14.1 percent cheaper in May 2020 than in May of the previous year. The price development of petrol is partly determined by crude oil, which fell in price at the start of 2020. After May, fuel prices recovered somewhat, but in July 2020 prices were still 7.1 percent lower than twelve months previously.

Consumer goods and services which became more or less expensive, July 2020 (year-on-year % change)
Product Price
All products 1.7
More expensive: .
Tobacco 18.7
Food and
non-alcoholic beverages
Less expensive: .
Energy -12.9
Motor fuels -7.1

The questions


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Explanation of symbols

Explanation of symbols
Symbol Explanation
Empty cell figure not applicable
. figure is unknown, insufficiently reliable or confidential
* provisional figure
** revised provisional figure
(between two numbers) inclusive
0 (0.0) less than half of unit concerned
2016–2017 2016 to 2017 inclusive
2016/2017 average for the years 2016 up to and including 2017
2016/’17 crop year, financial year, school year etc., beginning in 2016 and ending in 2017
2004/’05–2016/’17 crop year etc. 2004/’05 up to and including 2016/’17

Due to rounding, some totals may not correspond to the sum of the separate figures.

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Concept & image editing

Irene van Kuik


Anne Blaak

Janneke Hendriks

Richard Jollie

Hendrik Zuidhoek


Ronald van der Bie

Kees Groenenboom

Annelie Hakkenes-Tuinman

Michel van Kooten

Sidney Vergouw

Paul de Winden

Elma Wobma

Karolien van Wijk

Gert Jan Wijma


Gabriëlle de Vet

Frans Dinnissen

Final editing

Annelie Hakkenes-Tuinman

We thank all other colleagues who have contributed to this edition of The Netherlands in Numbers.