Last year again more households were gloomy about their financial situation. The number of pessimists now exceeds the number of optimists in this respect. Older people in particular are sombre about their financial prospects.
Households have increasingly negative opinions about their financial prospects. In 2003 20 percent of households expected their financial position to become less favourable in the coming twelve months; 14 percent expected an improvement. In 2002 there were still more optimists than pessimists.
Opinions on financial situation of own household
The opinions on the preceding twelve months are also increasingly sombre. Last year 37 percent of households said their situation had deteriorated in the preceding twelve months, while 13 percent thought it had improved. In 2001 they were predominantly positive about the preceding twelve months.
Older people in particular more sombre
Older people in particular are considerably more negative about their future finances than the younger generations. In 2003 nearly one quarter of over-55s expected their financial situation to deteriorate. The over-65s are especially sombre: only 3 percent were optimistic. For ages below 35 years on the other hand, three in ten households expect an improvement.
Opinions on financial situation in coming twelve months by age, 2003
Households see fewer and fewer possibilities for buying expensive items. One in ten households, for example, expect to spend more on durable goods such as furniture, a washing machine or TV. In 2000 one in seven intended to buy such items. Expectations about buying a house or a car, or home improvement have also become more modest.
At the same time fewer households see possibilities to build up their savings. In 2003, 66 percent of households expected to be able to put some money aside; this was 4 percent points down on 2000.
Ger Linden en Henk-Jan Dirven