The volume of domestic consumption was 0.1 percent larger in August 2004 than twelve months previously. In July it was 1.7 percent higher than in the same month last year, according to Statistics Netherlands. The average growth in July and August together was higher than the average for the first half of 2004. The figures have been corrected for differences in shopping day composition.
The volume of domestic consumption was 0.4 percent higher in the first eight months of this year than in the same period in 2003. Last year consumption fell by nearly 1 percent.
Consumers spent more on services…
After correction for prices, consumers spent 1.2 percent more on services in the first eight months of 2004 than in the same period last year. This is partly caused by increased household spending on care as a consequence of a number of important changes in the law on exceptional medical expenses and the national health insurance scheme. But spending on a number of other services also increased on last year, including housing, transport and communication. On the other hand, consumers spent less in hotels, restaurants pubs and cafés than in the same period last year.
… and less on goods
After adjustment for price changes, consumers spent 0.6 percent less on goods in the first eight months of 2004 than twelve months previously. The strongest decrease was for durable goods. The volume of spending on this category was 1.2 percent smaller than in the same period last year. Consumers spent less on furniture, home decoration and means of transport.
The volume decrease in spending on durable goods in the first eight months of 2004 was considerable but smaller than in 2003, when it came to 4 percent. Consumption of food, drink and tobacco was slightly higher (+0.4 percent) in the first eight months of 2004 than in the same period last year.
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