Consumer confidence substantially higher

After correction for seasonal effects, Dutch consumer confidence rose by 10 points to -22 in February 2004, the most substantial rise since the monthly survey was started in 1986. Consumers were in particular more confident about the economic climate. The willingness to buy slightly increased, according to Statistics Netherlands’ consumer confidence survey.

Opinions on economic climate improve considerably

Consumers’ opinions on the economic climate are far less negative in February than in January. Their opinions on the economic situation in the last twelve months and their expectations for the next twelve months have improved considerably. For the first time since December 2000 the optimists outnumber the pessimists regarding the economic situation in the next twelve months.

Slight increase in willingness to buy

After correction for seasonal effects, the willingness to buy is 3 points higher in February than in the previous month. The willingness to buy is based on consumers’ opinions on the financial situation of their own households and on whether they think it is a favourable time to make large purchases. Consumers are especially far less negative about the future financial situation of their households. They are as negative about the financial situation of their households as they were during the last twelve months.

Consumer more positive about prices

Consumers are also much more positive about price developments. The percentage of people who think prices have risen significantly fell to 45. Since June 2003, when nearly 70 percent thought that prices had increased considerably, this indicator has continually fallen.

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