Consumer confidence up slightly

After correction for seasonal effects, consumer confidence rose by 3 points from May, to -25 in June 2004. Consumers are less negative about the economic situation than last month. Willingness to buy is at about the same level according to Statistics Netherlands’ consumer confidence survey.

More positive opinions on economic climate

After corrections for seasonal effects, consumers’ opinions on the economic climate in the Netherlands are less negative in June than in May. There are 33 percent more pessimists than optimists on balance in June, compared with 39 percent  in May. Opinions on the economic climate both in the past twelve months and in the coming twelve months have improved.

Willingness to buy unchanged

Willingness to buy remained unchanged on balance in June after adjustment for seasonal effects, and is still low. Willingness to buy is based on consumers’ opinions of their own financial situation and on whether they think it is a good time to buy expensive durable goods. Consumers’ thoughts on purchasing items such as television sets and furniture have hardly changed in June and their opinions on their own financial situations are also the same.

Consumer confidence higher in first half of this year

Consumer confidence was higher in the first half of 2004 than in the second half of 2003. Following a substantial increase in February consumer confidence has remained fairly stable. The increase can nearly all be attributed to consumers’ much less pessimistic views of the economy. However, willingness to buy is still at the same low level as in 2003. This is not unusual. After the low points in consumer confidence in the early eighties and nineties, confidence in the economy started to recover first. Only around a year later were consumers more willing to spend their money.

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