Dutch inflation jumps to record 17.1 pct

THE HAGUE, Sept. 30 (Xinhua) -- Friday's announcement that inflation in the Netherlands climbed to a record high of 17.1 percent in September came as a blow to the country's government.

"It is terrible," Minister of Finance Sigrid Kaag reacted to national broadcaster NOS. "It is really extremely high."

The record high year-on-year rate, as measured by the European Harmonized Index of Consumer Prices (HICP) and reported by the Dutch Central Bureau of Statistics (CBS) came on the heels of the 13.7 percent rate for August, which already was a record.

The rising prices of energy made a significant contribution to inflation, according to the CBS.

The 17.1 percent HICP figure is a first estimate based on still incomplete source data. The regular figures, including inflation according to the regular Dutch consumer price index (CPI), will be published on Oct. 6.

Kaag said that the Dutch government had already presented a package of measures worth 17 billion euros (16.6 billion U.S. dollars) to preserve purchasing power for most households and that they are still working on an energy price cap.

"We also have to be careful that we don't spend all the money now or else we will have nothing left in the event of a recession," she said. "More intervention could actually fuel inflation. It's a balancing act that is being performed in many countries."

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