The volume of domestic consumption was 0.6 percent larger in June 2004 than in the same month last year. Spending on goods was about the same as twelve months previously, while spending on services was 1.2 percent higher.
According to Statistics Netherlands figures this is the first time since February 2003 that the volume of domestic consumption was higher than twelve months previously. The figures are corrected for differences in shopping day composition.
Slight fall in first six months
In the first half of 2004 the volume of domestic consumption was 0.3 percent below the level of the first half of 2003. In 2003 domestic consumption decreased by nearly 1 percent. The main part of this fall was in the second half of the year, when the volume of consumption was 1.6 percent smaller than twelve months previously.
Fewer goods more services
After correction for price changes, consumers spent 2.6 percent less on durable goods – the category most sensitive to economic developments - in the first half of 2004. They spent less on among other things furniture, means of transport, clothes and shoes than in the first half of 2003. Spending on food and drink was around the same.
The volume of spending on services was 1.2 percent up on the first half of 2003. Changes in regulations covering national health insurance and the compensation of exceptional medical expenses resulted in households paying more for care. But after correction for price changes, consumers also spent more on for housing, transport, financial services, culture and recreation.
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