The Netherlands, an outsider's view.

The Netherlands, an outsider's view.

2019 saw largest Dutch consumer price increase in nearly 2 decades; wage growth lags

Last year, the Netherlands saw the largest increase in consumer prices since 2002.

Compared to 2018, 2019 saw a 2.6% increase in prices largely driven by the increase in low rate VAT and energy taxes. In comparison, from 2017 to 2018, prices saw an increase of 1.7%, Statistics Nederlands reports. The low VAT rate largely included the price increases of food and non-alcholical beverages, which were (on average) 4% more expensive in 2019 than in 2018. All in all, low VAT rate products make up some 22.5% of consumer spending with food spending attributing 10% of all consumer spending.

In terms of energy costs, 2019 saw a 15.7% increase in electricity costs and a 10.6% increase in gas.

Congruently, however, collective bargaining wages failed to keep up with the rate of inflation. In 2019, such wages increased by only 2.5%.