High energy prices are passing additional costs on to other products, economists say
Food inflation has accelerated in the Netherlands with prices surging 18.4% year-on-year in February from a 17.6% January reading, data shared on Tuesday by Statistics Netherlands (CBS) shows.
Clothing was also considerably more expensive, surging 11.8% last month from 9.4% in January. Experts point out that these two items in particular contributed to inflation last month, which amounted to 8%.
An economist at the third-largest Dutch bank ABN Amro, Aggie van Huisseling, said that unusually high energy prices continued to fuel inflation in the country. The increase in food prices stems mainly from the soaring costs of fresh vegetables, as products like tomatoes currently come mainly from greenhouses that are heated with gas, Van Huisseling explained.
At the same time, fuel prices eased somewhat, declining 9.4% in February compared to the same period last year, figures from the CBS showed.
According to the European harmonized consumer price index (HICP), consumer goods and services in the Netherlands were 8.9% more expensive in February than the previous year and up from 8.4% in January.
Economists from ABN Amro expect inflation to cool this year and decline to 4%, but warn that a rise in energy prices will be passed on to the cost of other products.
For more stories on economy & finance visit RT's business section