After adjustment for seasonal effects, consumer confidence in the Netherlands has fallen by 4 points in March, to -26. This slight fall follows a large increase in confidence in February. Consumer confidence had been climbing since July 2003. According to Statistics Netherlands’ consumer confidence survey, consumers have less faith in the economic climate and are slightly less willing to spend their money.
More sombre about the economic climate
Dutch consumers are more negative about the economic climate in March than they were in February. This is mostly caused by their more sombre outlook on the economic climate in the coming twelve months. There were a net 6 percent more pessimists than optimists in March, while in February the optimists were in the lead for the first time since 2000. Consumers’ opinions on the economic situation in the last twelve months have hardly changed from February.
Consumers do not think it is a good time to spend a lot
Willingness to buy is 3 points lower in March than in February, after adjustment for seasonal effects. Willingness to buy is based on consumers’ opinions on the financial situation of their own household and on whether they think it is a good time to buy expensive items. Consumers are much more negative in March on whether it is a good time to buy things like furniture or a new TV. Their opinions on their own financial position have hardly changed. They are still very negative about the situation in the past twelve months. With regard to their own financial situation in the coming twelve months, there are about as many optimists as pessimists, just as in February.
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