Consumer confidence down slightly

24/09/2004 09:30

After correction for seasonal effect consumer confidence in the Netherlands is 3 points lower in September than it was in August. Confidence has been around -20 since July this year. This is the highest value since spring  2002. The slight fall this month is caused by a small decrease in willingness to buy, which is also 3 points lower in September. Consumer opinions on the economic climate have hardly changed, according to Statistics Netherlands’ consumer confidence survey.

Consumers slightly less willing to spend their money

Consumers’ willingness to buy is -20 in September after correction for seasonal effects. This is 3 points lower than in August. Willingness to buy is based on consumers’ perceptions of their own financial situation and whether they think it is good time to invest in expensive durable goods. Consumers are more negative mainly about their own money situation. Their expectations about the coming twelve months in particular are less positive than in August. Their opinions on whether it is a good time to buy expensive items like furniture have hardly changed from August.

Although consumers are one the whole negative about buying expensive goods, they have become less sombre on this point in recent months. In September 41 percent of consumers think it is a bad time to buy large expensive goods, while 14 percent think it is a good time to do so. In May 47 percent thought it was not a good time, and 11 percent that it was a good time.

Opinion on economic climate stable

Again after the removal of seasonal effects, consumers remain just as negative in September as they were in August about the economic climate. On the one hand they are slightly more positive about the economy in the past twelve months, but one the other they are more sombre about the situation in the next twelve months.

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