Soaring motor fuel prices in the Netherlands
Last year’s inflation rate averaged 2.5 percent according to figures released by Statistics Netherlands. Motor fuel prices increased substantially. Consumer electronics and water became much cheaper. The average price increase of food products was 2.0 percent.
Motor fuel prices soared last year by an average 7.3 percent relative to 2011. Motor fuels were in the top 5 list of products showing the highest price increases. The higher crude oil price, the excise duty increase in January 2012 and the higher VAT rate introduced on 1 October also had an upward effect on motor fuel prices. The litre price of euro unleaded, diesel and LPG soared to unprecedented heights in 2012.
Bus and taxi fares, gas and cigarettes also became more expensive.
Some products became cheaper in 2012. The consumer price of tap water fell by 7 percent compared to 2011. The groundwater tax was abolished in January 2012 and water companies passed the advantage on to consumers. Retail prices for consumer electronics like PCs, television sets and photo cameras also dropped.
Prices of food products rose by an average 2.0 percent in 2012, i.e. below the level of inflation in the Netherlands. The price of potatoes was 11.9 percent down from 2011, when prices were very high after a poor potato harvest. With 3.9 percent, coffee and tea prices rose most in 2012 relative to the preceding year. The price increase was predominantly caused by limited supplies and disappointing crop results in the past years and a growing demand from expanding markets in countries like Brazil and China.