Economy - Figures
Consumer prices were up by 1.7 percent on average in 2018 relative to the previous year. This is the highest increase after 2013, when consumer prices rose faster partly as a result of an increase in the high VAT rate from 19 to 21 percent in October 2012.
The higher consumer price increase in 2018 is mainly attributable to the price developments of electricity and gas. Last year, electricity was on average 15.7 percent more expensive than in 2017. Gas prices were up by 7.5 percent.
In 2018, HICP-based consumer prices in the Netherlands were up by 1.6 percent relative to 2017. The price increase in the eurozone was 1.8 percent year-on-year. In Belgium and Germany, prices went up by 2.3 and 1.9 percent respectively.
The European Central Bank (ECB) uses these figures to formulate its monetary policies. According to the ECB, prices in the eurozone are stable as long as the consumer price increase stays around 2 percent.
In 2018, the average sales price of owner-occupied homes in the Netherlands went up to over 287 thousand euros. Blaricum had the highest average house price at 902 thousand euros, the highest in any municipality since 1995. Delfzijl property was lowest in price at an average 142 thousand euros. Price disparities between municipalities were greater in 2018 than in the previous year.
Despite lower prices in the petroleum industry, producer prices were exactly 1 percent higher at the start of 2019 than one year previously. Prices in the petroleum industry were nearly 7 percent lower than in January 2018. At the beginning of Q4 2018, they were still up by almost 40 percent year-on-year. The petroleum industry usually has a major impact on price developments in other branches of industry.
Prices in the food industry have increased over the past few years and were up 4 percent by January 2019 relative to 2015. Dairy and fish products in particular rose sharply in price. Price levels in the dairy and fish-processing industries were up by nearly 16 percent and over 12 percent respectively. Prices did not increase across the board in the food industry, however; the chocolate and sugar industries dropped prices by nearly 6 and over 12 percent respectively relative to 2015.
Prices of commercial services and transport rose by an average 7 percent during the period 2008–2018. A relatively strong increase was recorded in the rates for administrative and support services, by 19 percent. Real estate activities also saw a relatively sharp price increase: 17 percent. The only price decrease was found in the information and communication industry.
Apart from the rates for rental and leasing activities, prices of all administrative and support services showed a continual increase in the period 2008–2018. The increase was most substantial in employment services, temp agencies and personnel management. Prices in these industries were up by more than one-quarter in 2018 relative to 2008.