According to figures from Statistics Netherlands, consumer confidence shows only a very small change in May 2006 compared with April. Willingness to buy has improved slightly, as consumers are clearly less negative about purchases of expensive durable goods. Consumer confidence has retained the upward trend of recent months this month.
Consumers less negative about buying expensive items
Consumer opinions on whether it is a good time to spend money on expensive durable goods improved substantially this month. In the last few months these opinions had already become more positive. There are still more pessimists than optimists, though. Consumers’ opinions on their own financial situation are around the same as last month.
Because of their positive opinion on the purchase of expensive items, willingness to buy has risen slightly. The willingness to buy component of consumer confidence is based on opinions about whether it is a good time to spend money on expensive durable goods, and about the households’ own financial situation.
Opinions on economic climate hardly changed
Consumers have hardly changed their minds at all about the economic climate in the Netherlands. They are less negative about the economy in the last twelve months, while their opinions on the economy in the coming twelve months has hardly changed at all.
Consumer confidence rising
Consumer confidence has shown a clear increase since September 2005. This is mainly the result of a more positive view of the economic situation. The improvement in willingness to buy is lagging slightly.