The volume of domestic consumption was 0.6 percent smaller in October 2003 than twelve months previously. According to figures from Statistics Netherlands the decrease was caused by lower spending on durable goods. Spending on other consumer categories were higher in October than in the same month in 2002. Households were conservative in their spending in the first ten months of 2003. After adjustment for price changes, they spent 0.9 percent less in this period than in the first ten months of 2002.
Consumption of durable goods falls
Consumers spent 1.3 percent less overall in October 2003 than in the same month in 2002. The volume of spending on durable goods such as clothes, shoes, furniture and means of transport was 4.0 percent lower than in October 2002. Only the volume of spending on household appliances was larger.
In contrast to spending on durable goods spending on food, drink and tobacco and on other categories, such as energy, was higher in October 2003 than twelve months before. Consumers spent 1.8 percent more on food, drink and tobacco and 0.3 percent more on other goods. The shopping day pattern had a positive effect on consumer spending in October 2003. This month had a Friday more and a Tuesday fewer than in October 2002. Friday is an important day for food shopping in particular.
Spending on services almost unchanged
The volume of spending on services was nearly the same in October 2003 as in October 2002.
Spending on services is under less pressure from spending on goods in 2003. After adjustment for price changes, consumers spent 0.3 percent less on services in the first ten months than in the same period in 2002. Spending on consumer goods was 1.5 percent down on the same period in 2002.
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