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Increase in VAT rate drives food prices up

18/04/2019

The increase in the VAT rate for foodstuffs from 6 to 9% as per 1 January 2019 can clearly be seen in the development of consumer prices. For dairy, bread and beef this is clearest. These product groups saw stable prices in 2018. Dairy and bread prices in February were 3% above the price level of last December. Compared with February 2018, dairy prices were 2% higher. Bread prices were 5% higher. In February, the prices for beef were 2% higher than in December and 2% higher than at the same time last year.

Other price increases in the first two months of 2019, also to a level higher than last year, apply to eggs (6% higher prices than in December and 10% higher than in February), fresh vegetables (3% higher, compared with both last December and February), poultry meat (2% and 4% higher, respectively, than in December and February last year. Although fresh fruit prices were 1% higher than in February, the price level was 8% lower than last February. Compared with December, price increases in the first two months of this year could be found for table potatoes (-2%, but 17% higher than February last year) and pork (-1%, but still 1% higher than February 2018). For the latter product, incidentally, higher prices are expected due to shortages on the world market.

These are some of the findings from the Food Price Monitor of Wageningen Economic Research and Statistics Netherlands.

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Actual food prices
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