Inflation falls to 3% in August but “shrinkflation” seen in food

CBS inflation: not that figures before and after June 2023 do not compare like with like

Inflation has fallen to 3% in August thanks largely to a dramatic drop in fuel prices, reports the CBS Dutch statistics office.

Since June, the CBS has used a new method to work out inflation – although it is plotting the figures from the different calculation on the same chart.

The new method was intended to more accurately reflect the effects of energy prices, since Dutch households tend to fix their price for between one and three years and so are not directly affected by monthly price fluctuations.

According to provisional figures from the CBS, inflation dropped from 4.6% in July to 3% in August. However, this did not affect prices for food, drink and tobacco, which were still rising by 10% month on month.

The European inflation measurement (HICP) method has not changed, and provisional figures suggest that this also dropped from 5.3% in July to 3.4%, the CBS said. This method does not include, for example, the costs of renting a home.

The Foodwatch consumer body told NOS broadcaster that on top of this price rise, many manufacturers were quietly reducing the contents of packaging – something that is not illegal but in the body’s view is “misleading”. The phenomenon has been dubbed “shrinkflation”.

Retail revenues increased by 5% from July to August, the CBS said, but the volume of sales was 2.8% lower.

Last year, Dutch inflation rose to 14.5%, among the highest in Europe as gas prices peaked.

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