The average prices of energy, food and products, among other things, are finally lower than a year earlier. But anyone who thinks they have an advantage will be disappointed. Inflation is only negative because energy prices went through the roof a year earlier.
The final inflation figure for October is -0.4 percent. The figure is always a comparison with the year before.
Energy prices peaked in October 2022, meaning that prices in October this year will soon be lower than then. Even if the energy price is still high compared to a few years ago.
Statistics agency CBS calculates this monthly with the consumer price index (CPI). This index figure shows how much prices have changed compared to the base year 2015.
Food is more expensive again than last year
Statistics Netherlands has been using a new method since June to measure and incorporate energy prices into inflation. As a result, the inflation figures now give a somewhat distorted picture.
If energy prices are excluded from the calculation, costs have indeed increased. Without energy and motor fuels, inflation in October was 5.1 percent. This means that food, other products and services were 5.1 percent more expensive in October than a year earlier. In the first half of 2023, the difference was even greater, with a peak of 8.1 percent in February and March.
Food products were still almost 8 percent more expensive in October than a year earlier. In September, food prices were still 9 percent higher than a year earlier.
If we compare prices with the previous month, we were also slightly more expensive in October: we paid 0.5 percent more than in September. But because prices can fluctuate seasonally, policymakers attach less importance to this development.