In December 2005, household spending on goods and services was 0.9 percent up on December 2004. Spending on durable items improved significantly, according to the latest figures published by Statistics Netherlands. Monthly figures on household consumption were adjusted for price changes and differences in the shopping day pattern.
More money spent on durable consumer items
Household expenditure on durable consumer items picked up noticeably in the last months of 2005. In December last year, consumers spent 4.5 percent more on durable goods than in December 2004. Clothes, shoes and consumer electronics in particular were selling well. On the other hand, fewer new cars were sold, compared with December 2004.
The total amount spent on services was 0.7 percent up on December, whereas expenditure on food, drinks and tobacco was 1.7 percent below the level of one year previously.
Household consumption improving since mid-2005
Household consumption went up again in the second half of 2005. Household spending increased by 1.3 percent in the fourth quarter of 2005, compared to the same quarter of 2004. In the third quarter, domestic household consumption was 1.1 percent higher. Domestic consumption growth over the whole year 2005 stands at a modest 0.4 percent. In the first quarter, domestic consumption was still below the level of the first quarter one year previously.