Thursday 09 February 2023

Inflation eases to 8.6%, bucking EU trend, but food bills keep rising


Inflation eased slightly to 8.6% in June, but households continued to feel the pinch as food prices went up by 11.2% in the past year, official figures show.

The statistics agency CBS said inflation was down from 8.8% in May and a peak of 9.7% in March, mainly because gas and electricity prices are rising less quickly than they were 12 months ago.

The cost of food went up by 11.2%, continuing a trend that began in September last year. Meat and dairy products were the fastest risers, but bread, oil, fish, fruit and vegetables also increased in price.

Fuel was a major driver of inflation, with the average cost of a litre of petrol going up from €2.19 to €2.35 while diesel increased from €1.99 to €2.14.

Inflation also fell slightly according to the European Union’s measure, which excludes housing costs. The Netherlands still has one of the highest rates in the EU at 9.9%, down from 10.2% in May, but this is against a rising trend across the 27 countries, where the average rate of inflation went up from 8.1% to 8.6% in June.

Inflation has come down from nearly 10% in March. Chart: CBS

The higher cost of living is also starting to drive up wages, with an average pay rise of 3.8% in 17 collective bargaining deals concluded in June, according to employers’ association AWVN. In the construction sector wages increased by 5%.

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